Catherine Cortez Masto Leads Call to Stop ICE from Detaining Pregnant Women
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) led 15 of her fellow Democratic Senators in a call on immigration authorities to restore presumptive release for pregnant women after a stillbirth in an ICE detention center earlier this year and an increase in the number of miscarriages in 2018. As many as 28 women may have miscarried while in ICE’s custody during the last two fiscal years. The lawmakers urged ICE to bring back the Obama-era directive of presumptive release "for all pregnant women" in immigrant detention, which Trump reversed. They also called on CBP to institute measures ensuring "timely and appropriate treatment" for pregnant women in its custody. “In the absence of compelling evidence that the detention of a pregnant woman is necessary because she is a threat to herself or others, or is a threat to public safety or national security, the civil detention of an expectant mother for potential immigration offenses is never justified,” the Senators wrote. “We cannot stand by while women are harmed by this administration’s inhumane policies. We strongly urge ICE to reverse its decision and reinstate a policy of presumptive release for all pregnant women, and CBP to institute strong measures that ensure the timely and appropriate treatment of pregnant women in its custody.” In February, a 24-year-old Honduran woman went into premature labor and delivered a stillborn baby at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas. "These women need a safe environment and regular access to medical care, which ICE and CBP have failed to provide," Cortez Masto said. Read the full letter here.