ICE Releases Infants in Its Custody Following Civil Rights Complaint

Nothing is more delicate or worthy of comprehensive care than a newborn. Yet, over the past several weeks, detention watchdogs and public health experts have noticed an alarming uptick in the number of infants—some as young as five months old—being held in prison-like detention facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On-the-ground staff in these facilities report mothers complaining that their babies are sick and not eating properly because of abrupt changes in food and living conditions. One mom even described her baby’s weight loss—a significant indicator of infant health.

In response, the American Immigration Council and other organizations filed an administrative complaint with two oversight branches of the Department of Homeland Security last week. The complaint demanded the immediate release of the infants and their families, noting grave concerns about the detention center’s lack of pediatric medical care.

Following this public outcry and the fact that children have recently died in custody due to government neglect, 15 of the infants and their families were reportedly released from the Texas detention center. However, two infants remain in detention.

The complaint was accompanied by an affidavit from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which advocates against the detention of children—including infants—in immigration detention centers.  PHR stated:

By Katie Shepherd for IMMIGRATION IMPACT

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