U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new policy for individuals known to be pregnant or nursing, which includes a year of postpartum in recognition of the time needed for infant development and parental bonding. The policy, which complements ICE’s national detention standards, family residential standards, and ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) policies, states that ICE should not 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.
“ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and safety of pregnant, postpartum and nursing individuals,” said Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson. “Given the unique needs of this population, we will not detain individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist. This reflects our commitment to treat all individuals with respect and dignity while still enforcing our nation’s laws.”
In the very limited circumstances in which detention is necessary and appropriate, ICE provides general health and well-being care, including regular custody and medical reevaluation, ensuring appropriate pre- and/or post-natal and other medical and mental health care.
A copy of the updated policy can be found here.