If you are one of many Colorado residents who follow immigration news, you've likely read numerous stories in recent years where immigrant advocates have spoken out against reported inhumane conditions in many of the nation's detention centers. A highly disturbing issue involves an increased number of miscarriages among pregnant detainees. Detainees are entitled to proper food, clothing and medical care.
A woman who was six months along in her pregnancy suffered a stillbirth while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sadly, this has not been an isolated event, and many people are calling on the U.S. government to change its policies to prohibit detaining pregnant woman experiencing adverse health conditions. If you or your loved one are expecting a child and are currently residing in a detention facility, you'll want to make sure you know your rights and how to exercise them.
Are women at risk?
The following information further explains why many immigrant advocates are outraged over purported negligence and health hazards that may be placing pregnant women in detention and the children they carry at great risk for injury:
- Medical records show that within 11 months' time, 10 immigrant women suffered miscarriages just prior to or shortly after entering U.S. immigration detention facilities.
- Nearly double that amount suffered miscarriages in ICE custody the following year.
- A pediatrician who spoke on the topic said that immigration detention is highly stressful and not conducive to maternal or fetal good health.
- If you're taken into ICE's custody, you will likely have to provide a urine sample. If you test positive for pregnancy, you are entitled to prenatal care and should have access to any and all medical specialists you need to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
Many people have decried the system, stating that locking up pregnant women in immigration detention facilities violates international human rights norms. The pediatrician who spoke also noted that many problem issues that can arise during pregnancy require prompt, emergency medical attention, which is something reportedly lacking in many detention facilities. For instance, if you suffer high blood pressure, yours or your child's life may be at risk.
Immigrants have frequently reported that they asked for medical attention and ICE officials disregarded their requests. If this were to happen to a pregnant woman suffering an urgent medical condition, it could result in miscarriage or, worse, death of both mother and child. If you believe someone has violated your rights, you can seek legal support at any time.