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President Biden seeks to end the detention of pregnant, nursing and/or new mothers at the border

President Biden has recently reversed a policy previously made by the Trump administration to arrest illegal immigrants who are pregnant, nursing or carry a newborn baby with them.

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What was the original policy?

President Biden has reversed a policy previously made by the Trump administration to arrest and detain people who are pregnant, nursing or who have had a baby within the previous year. Under this new immigration policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will not detain or arrest people who are pregnant or who have recently been pregnant for violation of immigration laws unless there are ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that call for it.

Under the Trump Administration, detention of individuals who were pregnant, nursing and/or who had recently given birth saw an 80% increase after the previous policy put in place by President Obama to not detain (unless it was needed due to extraordinary circumstances) was reversed. This was done by President Trump in an effort to help deter migrants from giving birth in the U.S. and thus receive birthright citizenship for their children.

swaddled new born baby

Special care is given to expectant and/or new mothers

Between February 2020 and February 2021, many complaints have been filed with the Department of Homeland Security regarding the treatment of pregnant immigrants in detention centers and how they were denied proper medical care. This in turn led to lawsuits against Customs and Border Protection filed on behalf of pregnant migrants by advocacy groups. Many of these lawsuits came after reports of the Trump administration deported migrant women and their babies who were recently born on U.S. soil out of the country without a birth certificate documenting the child’s U.S. citizenship.

Under President Biden’s new policy, if a person who is pregnant, nursing or is with a newborn baby is detained under extraordinary circumstances, he/she will receive proper care regarding their general health and well-being including regular custody with their child and medical evaluations appropriate to their pre-and/or post-natal medical and mental health needs.

Calls for permanent changes

Since taking office in January 2021, President Biden has implemented a number of immigration changes through executive orders or directives. Amongst these policy changes include accepting more requests for asylum seekers, a promotional push for green card holders to become U.S. citizens, the creation and submission of the Dream Act to congress, the easing travel and visa restrictions, and changing the priorities of what kind of undocumented immigrants’ law enforcement should pursue.

Although President Biden’s new immigration policy initiatives are a welcome change for new immigrants, critics worry that the efforts are not enough. Unless they are made permanent by legislative law, all of these changes could disappear with the next administration. Furthermore, some argue that the uncertainty of policies that are not permanent creates a strain on government agencies who struggle to keep up with the latest rules and practices.

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How can IAS help me?

If you need support with your immigration case, speak to one of our qualified immigration attorneys today to find out how we can assist you.

Whether you are looking to apply for a family-based green card, a work visa, or making an application for US citizenship, your dedicated lawyer can give you a full overview of the options available to you. Some of the support we offer includes:

  • Assessing your eligibility against the requirements of your chosen immigration route
  • Explaining the process in detail to you and your family
  • Help with gathering documents you need for a successful application
  • Completing a visa application form to the highest standards
  • Providing a letter of support to bolster your application
  • Communicating with USCIS on your behalf while your application is being considered

Contact us on +1 844 290 6312 to speak with an immigration lawyer about your case. We look forward to working with you over the phone or by online video call.

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