The administration of President Biden is expected to release pregnant women and mothers who have recently given birth following illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border.
While less than 20 people are currently being held by the government would be freed, previous Biden administration policy changes were criticized for not intentionally fueling the ongoing border crises.
Biden, in a departure from Trump’s policies, declined to deport minors crossing the border illegally without their parents. This decision was criticized by some who claim it contributed to the current situation that is driven by Central American unaccompanied children and family units.
The new policy will be applicable to Immigration and Customs Enforcement but not US Customs and Border Protection. This means that women could be arrested at the border and released by ICE. According to the New York Times.
“ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and safety of pregnant, postpartum and nursing individuals,” said acting ICE Director Tae Johnson.
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. This reflects our commitment to treat all individuals with respect and dignity while still enforcing our nation’s laws.”
The easing of COVID-19 policies for pregnant and postpartum mothers may be part of a larger easing that was made under former President Donald Trump. This resulted in the deportation of many single parents and some families.
Biden reportedly is considering ending the so-called Title 42 policy of turning away many migrants to prevent the spread of coronavirus.