Thursday, June 25, 2009

Human Rights Watch on the Consequences of Immigration Policy on Women's Health and Families

Human Rights Watch: US: Immigration Policy Harms Women:

ICE Immigration detention is the fastest growing form of incarceration in the United States. On any given day, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds 33,000 immigrants in detention, about 10 percent of them women. Detainees include asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, pregnant women, and mothers of children who are US citizens.

A March 2009 report by Human Rights Watch found that while current standards allow for emergency medical care and treatment for detained immigrants, they are insufficient to cover women's unique physical, social, emotional, and health care needs. These include gynecological exams, pre- and post-natal care, and treatment for those who have been victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

In fact, the advocates point out, women are being separated from their children, permanently in many cases, at great cost to society. In some cases, mothers are detained and taken to detention facilities hundreds of miles away without being given the opportunity to make the most basic arrangements for the care of their children. While in detention they are denied access to telephones and the legal materials necessary to locate their children and communicate with family courts to preserve their parental rights.

Julie Graves Krishnaswami

International, Politics, Women, General | Permalink

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