Complaint filed after ICE continues to violate policy by detaining pregnant immigrant women

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Recent actions from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have shown immigration officials are testing the limits of their power, including stalking undocumented immigrants outside churches but not going inside. In other cases, ICE is flat-out ignoring ICE policy:

Despite a department policy discouraging the prolonged detainment of pregnant women, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has routinely arrested them since President Trump took office and commenced his assault on immigration. The continued detention of pregnant women prompted a coalition of several legal advocacy groups to file a complaint with the Department of Homeland security on Tuesday.

As of mid-September, there were 33 pregnant women who were held in ICE detention centers across the country, The Center for Investigative Reporting noted. Between January and April of this year, ICE detained 292 pregnant women—35% more women than it had in the same time period last year.

Thomas Homan, who was the highest-ranking official at ICE under President Obama (and is now acting director under Trump), signed a memo in August of 2016 that instructed ICE officers to avoid detaining pregnant women for long periods of time. “Absent extraordinary circumstances or the requirement of mandatory detention, pregnant women will generally not be detained by ICE,” the memo read.

But according to further analysis from Huffington Post, more than 500 pregnant immigrant women have been detained by ICE over the last fiscal year. In one instance, a detained woman from Honduras suffered a miscarriage when she began to bleed but was not allowed to see a doctor until three days later.