Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement on Announcement That ICE Will Not Detain Pregnant, Nursing, and Postpartum Women for Deportation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will no longer detain, arrest, or take into custody for an administrative violation of the immigration laws individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum, or nursing, unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist. U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to ICE’s announcement:
“I am thrilled that with President Biden in office, long-overdue action is being taken to address this critical issue. Since becoming Chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and as Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Maternity Caucus, I have been very concerned about the negative impact of immigration detention on pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, and I have urged ICE to take measures to protect them. Each year, I have included bill and report language in my subcommittee’s annual funding legislation to achieve those goals.
“Even under the best circumstances, detention is always a source of stress and trauma, and we know that maternal stress and perinatal mood disorders can lead to negative health outcomes for both mothers and infants, including hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and maternal mortality and morbidity. Notably, ICE should not detain individuals who are not flight risks and pose no threat to public safety or national security, and that is particularly the case for new and expectant mothers.”