The memo cites the recent Supreme Court decision that ended federal right on abortion .The memo is from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tae Johnson and is addressed to Corey Price, head of the agency’s enforcement division.“This memorandum serves as a reminder of existing ICE policies and standards requiring that pregnant individuals detained in ICE immigration custody have access to full reproductive health care,” the memo states. “This is also a reminder that, pursuant to existing ICE policy, it may be necessary to transfer a detained pregnant individual within an area of responsibility (AOR) or to another AOR, when appropriate and practicable, in order to ensure such access.”
” Women can be transferred to another state if local laws prevent procedure “- says memo from ICE
Top immigration officials are planning to instruct detention centers around the country that women in custody are entitled to abortions and should be transferred to receive one if they are being detained in a state where abortion is illegal. ICE facilitates abortions for immigrants in its custody in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is threatened, according to ICE’s health regulations. An official familiar with the memo said it would likely be sent later this week, and would represent the first law enforcement agency to reinforce reproductive rights in federal custody. ICE detains immigrants in the country unlawfully on civil immigration violations, many of them in the course of their asylum applications. The memo is designed in part to pre-empt potential conflicts with Republican-led states where ICE runs many of its jail facilities and where abortion bans have started to take effect, the official said. Many ICE detention centers use space inside local and county jails, and ICE relies on local contractors to run those detention centers and transfer detained immigrants. Should local jails or contractors become subject to restrictive state laws, the person said, the ICE directive would take precedent. It isn’t clear how many detained immigrants the new policy would affect. Under President Biden, ICE separately issued a policy last summer that instructs officers to avoid arresting or detaining pregnant women.