Adding to the seemingly endless list of Trump era immigration policies that have been reversed by the Biden administration, a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive will prevent agents from detaining, arresting, and deporting pregnant, postpartum, and nursing women in virtually all circumstances. Additionally, women currently in ICE custody who are affected by this new directive will be released immediately.
The Obama administration previously applied this policy before the Trump administration reversed course in 2017. While this ICE directive is nothing new, it is a massive expansion from what the Obama administration imposed as now postpartum and nursing mothers will be largely exempt from detainment and arrest by ICE.
The only exceptions given under the new policy is if “(1) the individual poses national security concerns; or (2) the individual poses an imminent risk of death, violence, or physical harm to any individual.” Even under these very limited circumstances, ICE agents will be required to get permission from their directors before taking action. In other words, if an individual who qualifies for this deportation deferment has ties to terrorist organizations or gangs, ICE would be required to go through additional red tape in order to remove them from the country.
By giving pregnant and nursing mothers immunity from immigration enforcement, the Biden administration is encouraging these vulnerable women to make the immensely dangerous journey across the border. Furthermore, the measure is broad enough that such individuals could remain protected from deportation for years after their child is born, and then they could apply for asylum, keeping them in the country for much longer while the process plays out. This is just one of many immigration policies implemented by the Biden administration that incentivizes illegal immigrants to come to the Southwest border at a time when border encounters have reached levels not seen in two decades.
Pregnant women are not the only people who benefit from this radical policy change. Their unborn babies are almost guaranteed to become United States citizens and reap the benefits that come along with it. This longstanding misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, known as birthright citizenship, ensures that every child born on American soil is a US citizen regardless of their mother’s immigration status. This alone is incentive enough for pregnant woman to illegally immigrate to the United States.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), 300,000 babies are born to illegal immigrant mothers every year, accounting for 7.5 percent of all U.S. births annually. The fiscal costs alone associated with this are significant as illegal immigrant births cost taxpayers $2.4 billion annually, while Medicaid costs for these children run around $6.7 billion annually. On top of this, these U.S.-individuals would then be entitled to other government subsidized services, such as public school education and numerous other welfare programs.
Rather than crack down on these loopholes and reform birthright citizenship, the Biden administration is making it easier, not only for illegal immigrants to remain in the United States, but for their children to become United States citizens as well. Illegal aliens should not be rewarded for violating our laws.
As long as the Biden administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws, illegal aliens will continue exploiting our broken immigration system in order to settle permanently in the United States.