Pregnant Women and Immigration Detention: What You Need to Know

For a long while, it seemed as though the government gave pregnant women picked up on immigration charges some leeway. You might even know an undocumented immigrant who shared their story. For example, there’s the woman who came to the United States seeking asylum from her native homeland. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seemingly gave her a pass. She was permitted to wait for her immigration hearings. And, she did not have to do so from the walls of a detention center.

That was then….unfortunately. The current administration has changed the rules. Gone is the presumption of automatic release for pregnant women in jeopardy of deportation. In fact, even those with legitimate grounds for asylum may find themselves confined to a detention center.

You may not realize it, but ICE actually issued a formal directive concerning pregnant detainees at the end of 2017. That said, the current Administration did not announce the new changes until March 29th of this year. They set up the policies and procedures associated with identifying and monitoring women with a child at the time of their arrest.

Detention Centers and Pregnant Women

Pregnant women have other concerns in addition to their fear of deportation. Obviously, there are prospective medical issues for mother and baby. Those arrested for immigration violations should not be denied appropriate care because of their condition.

According to the latest directive, women in their third trimester of pregnancy will still be released from custody on immigration-related charges. However, relief for all other pregnant women will be decided on a case by case basis. For many, there is the possibility that the court will permit release with an immigration bond.

When the court determines whether an individual qualifies for an immigration bond, there are a few considerations. Among them is a determination concerning whether the person is potentially a flight risk. Ultimately, the immigration bond is an assurance that there will be a showing at the immigration hearing. This is true in both requests for asylum and proposed deportations.

In the meantime, there are the obvious concerns about assuring prenatal care. The ICE directive acknowledges the critical nature of taking care of the health of pregnant women. However, prior the entry of the updated legal order, pregnant immigrants complained about their care in detention centers.

Under the new guidelines, pregnant women would only be held in detention centers with the facilities able to provide them care. As previously noted, prenatal care has been such an issue that the ACLU and other organizations filed a complaint on behalf of women faced with the reality of giving birth in a detention center. The lack of quality medical care was emphasized.

Contact Us

At Freedom Federal Bonding Agency, we want to do all we can to help you. If you or a family member is eligible for an immigration bail bond, we can set things up for temporary release. Contact us for more information.

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