WASHINGTON — Thursday, the Trump administration announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will now have the authority to detain pregnant women, ending a previous policy that protected them from mandatory detention. National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:
“ICE’s new policy to detain pregnant women is absolutely cruel and sets a new precedent for inhumane policies by denying the humanity of immigrant women. Time and time again, these regressive policies have revealed a clear intent to punish undocumented immigrants. Pregnant women are torn from their families and support networks with little regard to the consequences, and often experience horrific treatment while in custody.
“Women of color, and especially undocumented immigrant women, are subject to wide disparities in healthcare – especially reproductive care. Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, in particular, face language barriers that prevent them from receiving comprehensive and culturally appropriate pregnancy care. This policy will only put their reproductive health further at stake while making them a pawn in the immigration debate.
“What happened today is just the latest in a series of actions being taken to hurt vulnerable communities across our country. With each passing day, there is a growing human cost to our regressive immigration policy. The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, introduced by Washington Reps. Adam Smith and Praymila Jayapal, would be an important start to addressing and improving the deplorable conditions of U.S. immigration detention centers.
“At a time when immigrant communities are living in fear, what we need is comprehensive immigration reform at all levels – not xenophobic policies and fear-mongering. NAPAWF will continue fighting until all women have dignity and justice.”
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls.