Lucille Roybal-Allard and Pramila Jayapal Question DHS On Treatment of Pregnant Detainees
Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the Co-Chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, on Monday sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsenrequesting answers about the status and treatment of pregnant women held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The letter comes in the wake of an article published by BuzzFeed earlier this month that detailed the accounts of pregnant detainees who didn’t receive proper, timely, and language-appropriate medical attention, and miscarried as a result. The article also described detainees being shackled while pregnant, which the members cited as a clear violation of CBP and ICE policies, and against the recommendation of several medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association. “This article illuminates a number of additional harmful practices in six different CBP and ICE facilities in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. These include incidents of improper x-rays, lack of regular prenatal vitamins, and acts of physical violence against pregnant women at the hands of CBP officials,” the members wrote. “On April 12, 2018, you testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and expressed your concern about the mistreatment of pregnant detainees. Like you, we believe it is a high priority that these expectant mothers are treated with the respect and care they need.” More here.