ICE Detaining Pregnant Undocumented Immigrants, Ending Release Policy

March 29, 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is ending a policy of presuming that a pregnant woman should be released from immigration custody.

According to a directive sent to members of Congress Thursday, ICE will now review the detention of pregnant women on a case-by-case basis. Agents will detain only those who are slated to be deported or who are deemed a flight risk. Women in their third trimester of pregnancy will generally not be detained.

The hardened policy is in line with several formal processes that President Donald Trump has taken on undocumented immigration.

"We’ve seen this current administration targeting unaccompanied minors, sponsors of unaccompanied minors, immigrant families," said Katie Shepherd, a lawyer with the Immigration Justice Campaign.

The policy was initially begun under former president Barack Obama. The rollback was quietly implemented in December.