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Change in immigration detention policy angers advocates

Immigrant advocates in Louisiana may be among others in the nation who recently expressed anger and frustration over the new ICE policies. The immigration detention situation has brought many immigrant advocates forward to say they believe recent changes are unfair to pregnant women. In the past three months, more than 500 expectant mothers have navigated the immigration detention process.  

In the past, women who are pregnant were usually released from detention to await their deportation hearings. Things are different now that policy changes have taken place. The government says too many pregnant women fail to show up for their hearings; therefore, ICE will no longer consider pregnancy reason to release detainees.  

One immigrant advocate recently spoke on the issue, saying detention centers are essentially prisons, and it's wrong to keep expectant mothers locked up in such places, especially those who fled to the United States to escape violence and danger in their countries of origin. An ICE spokesperson said appropriate health care services will be provided to pregnant women who are detained. He further stated that the government recognizes the special needs of these detainees and provides ICE officers consultation with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to assist them as they tend to the needs of pregnant detainees.  

The ICE official also noted that women in their third trimesters will still be released from custody because they are ineligible for air flight. He also said each deportation case is considered by its own merits, which means pregnancy will continue to be a special factor in cases where it applies. Some say the new immigration detention policy is hostile toward certain groups of people. Any Louisiana immigrant currently facing detainment problems may reach out for experienced guidance support.  

Source: USA Today, "ICE to hold more pregnant women in immigration detention", Alan Gomez, March 30, 2018

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