Biden administration strikes down another Trump era rule on illegal immigration

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Joe Biden is continuing his destructive agenda of re-writing of rules for handling illegal immigration. On Friday a new policy was announced that ICE will no longer detain most pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women for deportation. The list of those exempt from deportation proceedings is growing.

The previous administration issued a directive in 2017 that “ended the presumption of release for all pregnant detainees.” During the Obama administration, most pregnant women were exempted from immigration detention but Biden is going further than that. Apparently, Obama’s handling of illegal immigration wasn’t radical enough for Joe Biden. The Biden administration will include women who are nursing babies. The most radical part of this decision is that any woman who gave birth within the prior year gets a free pass. Women often nurse babies for more than a year. All of this is Joe Biden’s idea of a more humane way of handling the flood of illegal migrants on the southern border.

During the Trump administration, thousands of pregnant women were held in detention centers along with others who were detained at the border. The statement from ICE includes some mumbo jumbo about infant development and parental bonding. These are words to humanize illegal entries into the United States. Where was the concern for infant development and parental bonding while the pregnant woman, often with other children in tow, made the trek to the border? The women can still be detained but will be only in “very limited” circumstances.

ICE officials said in a statement that the new policy takes into greater account the “health and safety” of expecting and new mothers and recognizes “the time needed for infant development and parental bonding.”

ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and safety of pregnant, postpartum, and nursing individuals,” acting ICE director Tae Johnson said in a statement. “Given the unique needs of this population, we will not detain individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum, or nursing unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist.”

The agency administers pregnancy tests to female detainees after they are taken into custody as part of its regular health screenings, and some discover that they are pregnant after the test. In those cases, the policy says, ICE should “generally” release them from custody.

Pregnant and postpartum women may still be detained in “very limited circumstances,” the policy said, when the woman “poses an imminent risk of death, violence, or physical harm” or is a national security concern. A field office director must approve the arrest and detention and ensure that the women receive medical care.

In other words, this is the Biden administration moving further to open border policies. By releasing these women as they are detained at the southern border, Biden is broadening catch and release policies. The statement by ICE claims that the new and expanded directive “complements ICE’s national detention standards, family residential standards and ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) policies.” The Biden administration is also taking advantage of the 14th Amendment – babies born in the United States are granted full benefits of citizenship.

Advocates point to the fact that many women showing up on the southern border have been raped and that is why they test positive for pregnancy. This is one of the risks of illegal immigration – the humanitarian crisis which includes the rape and physical abuse of women and children along the way. Biden ended family detentions and releases them within 72 hours of the time they are apprehended. Several hundred pregnant women traveling with children have been detained this fiscal year.

Biden’s actions will not be good enough for open borders advocates until there are no borders to protect.

Advocates praised Friday’s announcement, but said it doesn’t go far enough. The American Civil Liberties Union called on the government to stop detaining anyone who might be at risk in detention. “This action by the Biden administration is a welcome step in the right direction,” said Eunice Cho, a senior staff attorney with the organization.

The problem of pregnant women arriving on the southern border is relatively a small one. As of Thursday, only 13 pregnant women were in ICE custody and they were being considered for release under the new policy. As mentioned above, most arrive as a family unit, not single migrants. This is just another political pander from Team Biden to add to talking points. They continue to chip away at the successful border policies of the Trump administration in the name of being more humane. None of the Biden border crisis is proof of humanity. Human trafficking and drug trafficking, with drug cartels in control of parts of the border, is proof the misguided benevolence of Democrats only makes a bad situation worse. The mixed messages of the Biden administration will lead to a continued crisis. Unfortunately, more pregnant women and those who have recently given birth will now be encouraged to travel to the southern border and expect a welcome into the United States. Instead of encouraging those seeking to come to the United States to do so legally, Team Biden does the opposite.