Two Latin American women argue that they each lost their pregnancies after being taken into custody by United States Customs and Border Protection agents since July 2017. In both instances, the women were first detained by border patrol officers, then transferred into the custody of immigrantion and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
As it currently stands, ICE policy is to submit all women detainees to routine pregnancy testing if they are age 56 or under. If a woman is found to be pregnant, agency policy dictates that she is to be released with simple orders to return to immigrantion court for a hearing on the matter. They’re reportedly never supposed to be detained, except under the most extraordinary of circumstances.
In one of the aforementioned cases, the woman appeared at the San Ysidro crossing between Tijuana and San Diego on July 23. She’s alleged to have told U.S. border crossing agents that she feared being killed in her native Honduras if she returned. She also reportedly told them that she was two months pregnant. She even carried images of the ultrasound.
Instead of releasing the woman, they detained her. By 5:00 p.m. that day, she began to feel ill and asked officers for medical care. After sleeping on the hard floor for an evening, she woke up with stomach pain and heavy bleeding. Officers reportedly still denied her requests to see a doctor.She would ultimately be transferred to an ICE holding facility in San Diego where days later she reportedly tested negative for pregnancy. ICE alleges that she never was pregnant.
The woman alleges that the only reason she would have tested negative for pregnancy is because she miscarried while in detention. By the time she saw a doctor three days into her detention, a doctor confirmed that she was no longer pregnant.
immigrantion watchdog groups note that the detention of pregnant women has significantly increased over the past few months, and it has them concerned. They take ICE employees’ unwillingness to enforce their own policy as a sign that they’re that they’re receiving directives from the Trump administration to tighten restrictions on immigrants.
Hundreds if not thousands of people are illegally detained at the border each year. If someone you know is one of them, a San Diego immigrantion detention attorney can provide advice.
Source: HuffPost, “Two Women Say They Lost Pregnancies In Immigrant Detention Since July,” Roque Planas, Sep. 27, 2017