Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says he is horrified that pregnant migrants arriving at the United States-Mexico border are not being swiftly released into the interior of the country to have their children while they await their asylum process.
In July, NBC News published a report detailing the fact that pregnant migrant women are waiting in Mexico while their asylum and immigration claims are processed by federal officials. The initiative is part of President Donald Trump’s new “Remain in Mexico” policy, which seeks to end the procedure of Department Homeland Security (DHS) officials readily releasing border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S. while their claims are processed.
This month, Merkley sent a letter to the DHS Office of Inspect General asking that the agency investigate reports that claim six pregnant migrant women have been requested to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed in the U.S.
Instead, Merkley writes, the pregnant migrant women should be fast-tracked into the country until they are deemed to be legitimate asylum seekers or not because it is a principle of “U.S. law and the Constitution.”
“Policies and practices targeting pregnant women at the border are horrific and must be immediately investigated,” Merkley writes. “Forcing pregnant women to wait alone in Mexico for their asylum hearings puts them at extreme risk of abuse and extortion. Moreover, it creates significant health risks for mothers and children when proper medical care is not available. Targeting pregnant women also likely violates U.S. law and the Constitution.”
Releasing pregnant women into the U.S. while they await their asylum process would allow them to deliver their children in the country and thus secure them automatic birthright citizenship.
Last week, Merkley likened detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border that house border crossers and illegal aliens to the internment camps that Japanese-Americans were forced into during World War II.
“The idea that if you’re going to solve this by making it harder to put families with sponsors and lock people up, this is World War II Japanese-American family detention camp-style operation,” Merkley said of the detention centers.
As Breitbart News reported, zero of the roughly 1,200 migrants who sought asylum in the U.S. and were required to wait in Mexico actually obtained asylum. All of those migrants were found to not have legitimate asylum claims.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.