Under the Trump administration, there have been quite a few tweaks to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s policies about detaining and deporting immigrants. This week, a new ICE policy about detaining pregnant women was made public, as HuffPost reported on Thursday, and some human rights groups feel that it will hurt women, though the agency maintains that it will continue to provide adequate care, according to statements emailed to Romper. The new policy has been in effect since December 2017, but was just publicly shared by the agency on Thursday.
According to the FAQs released with the new directive to Romper, ICE explains that the old policy was that women who were pregnant were “generally not detained unless their detention was mandatory under the law, or when ‘extraordinary circumstances’ warranted detention.” Under the new policy, according to the same FAQs, ICE “will complete a case-by-case custody determination taking any special factors into account,” which essentially means that the agency will consider holding pregnant women, even if they’re not a flight risk or there is no “extraordinary circumstance.”
An ICE spokesperson told Romper via an email statement that there “are currently 35 pregnant detainees in ICE custody — all who were subject to mandatory detention. Mandatory detention has not changed.” (Mandatory detention means that there was some crime on the detainees record, though the severity of them vary, as the Immigrant Legal Resource Center explains.)
The policy also applies to detainees applying for asylum. “This policy would apply equally to pregnant detainees pursuing asylum and other forms of…