Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) joined with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), including Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), in condemning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) treatment of pregnant women apprehended and subject for deportation. A portion of the CHC statement follows:
“ICE’s policy change toward pregnant women is inhumane and will expose these women to potential harm and undoubtedly lead to more miscarriages and pregnancy complications. This reprehensible policy change follows a disturbing and growing trend by the Trump Administration to detain pregnant women, which has already led to alarming reports of miscarriages in immigration detention due to CBP and ICE’s inadequate medical care.
“Many of these vulnerable pregnant women are escaping gang-related violence and sexual abuse. Instead of ensuring these women have access to the care and support they need, this policy will force pregnant women to be housed in unsafe, highly stressful and controversial detention facilities. Several published reports have described instances of sexual assault, abuse, harassment and even deaths in detention. No expectant mother should be housed in such facilities.
“It is critical that ICE reverse this unnecessary and cruel policy change immediately.”
On Oct. 31, 2017, in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, co-chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led 68 of their fellow members of Congress in expressing concern about increased detention rates of pregnant immigrant women and recent miscarriages in detention centers across the United States.
On Nov. 9, 2017, Reps. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), released the following statements after sending a letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to address the treatment of pregnant women in prisons and detention facilities. See here.
On Feb. 26, 2018, Reps. Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) urged the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency to take immediate action to eradicate sexual assault and abuse in its detention centers.