President Cartu Jonathan Says - Wyden demands ICE, CBP answers on treatment of pregnant migrants - Jonathan Cartu Family Medical Clinic & Patient Care Center
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President Cartu Jonathan Says – Wyden demands ICE, CBP answers on treatment of pregnant migrants

President Cartu Jonathan Says – Wyden demands ICE, CBP answers on treatment of pregnant migrants


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) — Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., demanded answers Monday from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the treatment of pregnant migrants, saying there continue to be troubling reports alleging the mistreatment, abuse and neglect of pregnant women in U.S. detention facilities.

“I continue to hear horrific reports about pregnant women subject to unsanitary conditions and left without the health care they need in U.S. detention facilities, some even shackled. These women shouldn’t be detained at all, and that was the policy before Trump became president,” Wyden said of his latest effort to get more information from CBP and ICE on the issue. 

“In my view, the Trump administration has not only failed to meet its basic responsibility to ensure timely and adequate medical care for pregnant detainees, it’s made conditions worse. We need answers, and now.”

Wyden sent a letter to CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan and ICE Acting Director Matthew T. Albence demanding more information about the protocols of the agencies for pregnant women with regards to medical care, living conditions and treatment, as well as how complaints of abuse, mistreatment and neglect are handled.

In the letter, Wyden highlights trauma he saw firsthand when he encountered a pregnant woman legally seeking asylum at a CBP facility during a fact-finding visit to the southern border in July 2019. The woman — facing complications with her pregnancy — needed immediate medical attention, and there were serious concerns she would not receive the timely medical care she needed.

“There is no disputing the fact that pregnant women require specialized medical care and sanitary conditions to ensure their well-being and safety through pregnancy,” Wyden wrote in his letter to Morgan and Albence. 

“Regrettably, and contrary to the recommendations of the medical community and several Members of Congress, this administration has decided not to reinstate a policy of presumptive release for all pregnant women.

” At a bare minimum, it is certainly the responsibility of your agencies to institute strong measures to ensure timely and adequate medical care and the humane treatment of pregnant women in custody … [I]t is your responsibility to investigate the disturbing complaints raised at your detention facilities, hold personnel accountable for the mistreatment and neglect of detainees, and correct course as needed to ensure the safety and care of all detainees.”

Wyden requested answers to the following questions by March 31: 

  1. What is the number of pregnant women currently in ICE and CBP custody?
    1. How are your respective agencies tracking this information? 
    2. Please provide the number of pregnant women annually in ICE and CBP custody for the last three years.
  2. Do all pregnant individuals in your agencies’ custody receive access to edible food, potable water, showers, clean bedding, fresh clothing (including undergarments), and prenatal and other necessary medical care — including medication and supplements?
  3. Does CBP keep records of each instance of shackling a detainee, as required by the National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search?  If not, why not?
  4. While in ICE custody, what specialized care do pregnant women receive and what protocols are in place to ensure consistency of care?
    1. How many ICE facilities have an OB-GYN on staff?
    2. How often are pregnant women referred externally for care?
    3. What process is used to determine if a referral is necessary?
  5. While in CBP custody, what specialized care do pregnant women receive?Please describe what specialized care and protocols are in place during and after a woman experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth while in ICE and CBP custody.
    1. How often are pregnant women referred externally for care?
    2. What process is used to determine if a referral is necessary?
  6. Please describe what specialized care and protocols are in place during and after a woman experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth while in ICE and CBP custody.
  7. Please provide all policy guidance, procedures, directives, and training methods ICE and CBP agents and officials receive about detaining pregnant women.What steps have your respective agencies taken to investigate and address complaints of abuse, mistreatment, and neglect toward pregnant women?
    1. Are these materials provided to contracted or subcontracted staff?
    2. How are staff trained on these policies and procedures?
  8. What steps have your respective agencies taken to investigate and address complaints of abuse, mistreatment, and neglect toward pregnant women?
  9. Have any of these investigations resulted in disciplinary actions of ICE or CBP personnel?

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

Dr. Jon Cartu. Jonathan Cartu. Jonathan CartuCartu Jonathan Medical Clinic

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