July 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the leading organization advocating for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls, welcomed the Biden administration’s new policy stating that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers ‘generally will not detain or arrest people who are pregnant or nursing, or who had a baby within the previous year.’

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement:

“The ability to start a family and parent one’s children with dignity is central to our values. The Biden administration’s announcement is an overdue and welcome step toward righting wrongs in an immigration system that must be more humane and just to immigrant women and families. 

The federal government has a track record of subjecting women of color seeking entry into the U.S. to mistreatment related to their reproductive rights and health: it has detained thousands of pregnant women in detention centers with inhumane conditions and with inadequate access to health care; severely limited eligibility for asylum for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors; and tried to coerce detained immigrant minors into carrying their pregnancies to term by blocking their access to abortion, and tracked the pregnancies and menstrual periods of unaccompanied minors in custody. Today’s announcement is a much-needed change for all pregnant, nursing, and postpartum people. 

Still, we call on the Biden administration to improve immigration policies in the following ways: by granting health access to all people regardless of their immigration status, by improving immigration systems to reunite families, by abolishing ICE, and ending the detention and deportation of Southeast Asian refugees.”


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 (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.


For additional data, please visit: IMMIGRANT ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE and INSIDE THE NUMBERS: How Immigration Shapes Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities