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ICE: "We'll jail more pregnant women"

ICE:

He said it was hard to estimate how many more pregnant immigrants would be detained under the new policy.

Shepherd filed a joint complaint on behalf of the council and five other civil rights groups in September challenging ICE's treatment of pregnant women in detention.

Although many pregnant women were still detained by ICE after the 2014 policy was codified - including so-called "maternity tourists" who come to the United States for the goal of giving birth in the country - critics of the new policy fear more pregnant women could be subject to mentally and physically stressful confinement in immigration detention facilities.

Pregnant detainees will now stay in ICE custody for immigration violations, amending nationwide detention standards, according to a new policy.

Since then, more than 500 women were taken into custody in the first three months of 2018.

The hardened policy is in line with several formal processes that President Donald Trump has taken on undocumented immigration.

The directive does give officers flexibility to evaluate each individual case.

Thursday's announcement prompted further backlash, and Philip Miller, the Deputy Executive Associate Director of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations, pushed back on the criticism.

More news: ICC congratulates Afghanistan and West Indies for qualifying for World Cup 2019

Under the new policy, ICE will detain "only those whose detention is necessary to effectuate removal, as well as those deemed a flight risk or danger to the community", according to a fact sheet obtained by HuffPost.

Others may be subject to mandatory detention because they committed certain crimes within the U.S. He said that on March 20, the last date for which ICE has the data, there were 35 pregnant women in detention, all of them subject to mandatory detention. The administration changed the Obama-era policy in December. ICE will generally not detain pregnant women during their third trimester.

Immigrant women in detention are also sometimes the victims of rape, said Kathryn Shepherd of the American Immigration Council, which was one of the groups that filed a complaint previous year against the detention of pregnant women.

Pregnant women have not fared much better with ICE lately.

Over the a year ago or so, several horror stories from pregnant women held in detention have surfaced.

USA officials said it was unclear how many women would be affected by the new policy.

Calling it an "attack on women and children", Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at Women's Refugee Commission, said the organization "condems" the move.

In July of 2017, KUOW.org shared the story of Jacinta Morales, a pregnant immigrant who suffered an abortion and whose medical care aggravated her circumstance, a case that "raised questions about ICE's policy concerning pregnant and nursing mothers".


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