Immigrant Miscarriages in ICE Detention Have Nearly Doubled Under Trump
Members of Congress are calling for an investigation after a sharp increase in miscarriages among pregnant women in immigrant detention.
This is a perfect example of the incoming soul “terminating the contract” because of the stressful conditions under which he/she would be entering the earth plane. ~ Don Chapin
Scott Bixby, 03.01.2019 11:47 AM ET
(This is a perfect example of the incoming soul “terminating the contract” because of the stressful conditions under which he/she would be entering the earth plane. ~ Don Chapin)
The number of undocumented women who have lost their pregnancies while in government detention nearly doubled in the first two years of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a government review of medical records.
Now, following the stillbirth of a baby boy by a woman who was held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody despite being six months pregnant, members of Congress are calling for an investigation into Trump administration policies that they fear are worsening the crisis.
“We have heard several alarming stories of pregnant women receiving inadequate medical care and even miscarrying while in [Department of Homeland Security] custody,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), chair of the Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement. “These tragedies make one thing very clear: ICE and [U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] should not be detaining expectant mothers in poor conditions, and the practice of detaining these women is inhumane and inconsistent with our values as Americans. We must examine the circumstances of the unfortunate and disturbing loss of this mother’s child.”
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), chair of the caucus’ Women’s Task Force, called the incident part of “a troubling pattern of medical negligence and disregard for humanity” on the part of immigration authorities.
“I fear this tragedy could be a consequence of that negligence,” Mucarsel-Powell said.
According to a manual review of medical records conducted by ICE and provided to The Daily Beast, 10 migrant women appear to have experienced a miscarriage either just prior to or during ICE custody between October 2016 and September 2017. As of Aug. 31, 2018, the same review found that 18 migrant women may have experienced a miscarriage while in ICE custody during the following year—nearly twice as many.
The increase—which does not take into account miscarriages or stillbirths among women in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol custody—followed Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era policy that forbade ICE from detaining pregnant women, “absent extraordinary circumstances.” The new policy, enacted in December 2017 to comport with the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, ended that presumption of release for pregnant detainees, with a caveat that ICE would “generally” not detain pregnant migrants during their third trimester of pregnancy.
The sharp rise in the number of miscarriages among women in immigrant detention, health and human rights advocates told The Daily Beast, is likely at least partially rooted in this new Trump administration policy.
“For any woman who is pregnant to be in detention is a problem,” said Dr. Alan Shapiro, pediatrician and co-founder of Terra Firma, a nonprofit organization that provides medical care to undocumented children. “Detention in and of itself can be quite traumatizing and stressful, and anything that triggers stress hormones can lead to negative outcomes in pregnancy for herself and for the fetus.”
The notion that pregnant women can be safely detained in immigration processing centers, Shapiro said, is a contradiction in terms.
“I don’t believe that any pregnant woman should be held in detention centers, for their health and for the health of their child.”