U.S. immigration law instructs ICE officials to detain pregnant women in Louisiana and elsewhere who have not yet entered their third trimesters if their paperwork is not in order when they cross U.S. borders. A 23-year-old woman was approximately four months pregnant when she was detained. Sadly, she suffered a miscarriage in an immigration detention center, which she says happened because officials denied her request for emergency medical attention.
The young woman asked that reporters not disclose her identity because she feared repercussions for herself and her family members. She says she began cramping and bleeding not long after being detained and begged ICE officers to help her obtain medical attention. Her pleas were reportedly ignored, and she eventually suffered a miscarriage. She also wound up choosing voluntary departure and was sent back to her country of origin, El Salvador.
Other women have come forward saying they suffered similar tragedies in numerous detention facilities throughout the nation. Lack of medical attention and rough physical treatment by ICE officers have been cited as key factors to pregnancy miscarriages among detainees. One woman said she suffered a fall where she landed on her belly but was still denied medical attention even though she was eight months pregnant at the time. Her child did not survive.
ICE spokespeople say that U.S. immigration law requires pregnant women to be housed in separate immigration detention facilities. Officials have also said pre-natal and post-natal care is provided for all pregnant women in detention. A Louisiana resident facing legal status problems or worrying about family members in detention may reach out for legal support by requesting a meeting with an experienced U.S. immigration law attorney.