Responding to reports of mistreatment and miscarriages at ICE facilities, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, asked federal immigration officials this week to provide information regarding a policy change that impacts the number of pregnant women being detained.
Warren, along with other Senate Democrats, penned a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas Homan seeking information on why ICE changed its detention policy, how many pregnant women are in immigration detention and what pregnancy-related health services are available at the agency’s detention centers.
The Democrats, who argued that ICE implemented a policy of presumptive release for pregnant women in 2016 because its detention centers were ill-equipped to address their needs, asked why Homan reversed that practice in a December 2017 directive.
They noted that the move came despite a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report that found “significant issues” at four of five inspected ICE detention facilities, and a case in which a detained Honduran woman seeking asylum had a miscarriage after not receiving proper medical care.
“In light of reports that ICE has failed to provide critical medical care to pregnant women in immigration detention, resulting in miscarriages and other negative health outcomes, this policy change is particularly alarming,” they wrote.