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Biden Suspends Detention of Pregnant and Breastfeeding Undocumented Immigrants

DHS claims it is seeking to protect the health and welfare of pregnant, postpartum, and nursing mothers

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Friday that it will no longer detain pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum immigrants. In this regard, it established new standards for the treatment of these women.

“ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and welfare of pregnant, postpartum and nursing mothers,” the agency said in a statement.

This announcement comes at a time when the number of people apprehended by ICE is rising after a year in which the number of undocumented immigrants had declined. However, in May 2021, Border Patrol apprehended more than 170,000 immigrants illegally crossing the border.

Detention of pregnant immigrants

Despite the measure, the Biden administration did not explain what provisions it will make for the birth of the children and whether they will obtain American citizenship in case they are born in the territory of the United States, as established by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

The ICE statement added that in very limited circumstances in which such detention is necessary and appropriate. It further noted that it will provide general health care, including medical evaluation, to ensure appropriate prenatal, postnatal and mental health care.

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