Fusion has learned that at least 559 pregnant women were detained in just six Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities since 2012, despite a policy prohibiting such detentions except for in cases of “extraordinary circumstances.”
ICE says they do their best to minimize the time that expecting mothers spend in detention. But the average time spent in detention for the 559 pregnant women detained since 2012 was just four days shorter than the average time for all people held in detention, according to a Freedom of Information Act request obtained by Fusion.
ICE provided data for only six of its facilities, which house an estimated 39 percent of the women held in detention. The total number of pregnant women kept behind bars is likely much higher.
A Human Rights Watch report found that access to prenatal care varies considerably from one facility to another. ICE policy says that all pregnant women should have access to obstetricians and appropriate nutrition.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration asked Congress for $897 million in additional funding to detain and deport undocumented Central American parents entering the country.