In Senate hearing, Senator Murray questions Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen on department’s cruel practice of detaining pregnant women in custody, excessive use of ICE detention in lieu of cheaper alternatives 



Senator Murray questions DHS Secretary Nielsen about the Department’s poor treatment of pregnant detainees and others during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on May 8, 2018.

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, called out the Trump Administration’s cruel practice of detaining pregnant women in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and its management and budget challenges during a subcommittee hearing on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget. During the hearing Senator Murray questioned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the inadequate level of care pregnant women receive in DHS facilities, highlighting that DHS officials did not initially inform Congress of a policy change that would lead to more pregnant women being placed in detention for longer periods of time, and urging Secretary Nielsen to reverse course on this policy because it puts pregnant women in detention at risk. Additionally, Senator Murray pressed Secretary Nielsen on DHS’ habitual use of detention for detainees over less costly alternatives that are more effective, and emphasized that reducing detention through cheaper alternatives would save critical taxpayer dollars and discourage overspending caused by ICE unnecessarily detaining people.


(Watch video of Senator Murray’s full exchange with Secretary Nielsen HERE.)


DHS Secretary Nielsen answers questions about the Department of Homeland Security’s budget during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on May 8, 2018.

Senator Murray has been a consistent critic of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda and has vocally opposed efforts at the Department of Homeland Security to eliminate or undermine protections for undocumented people, including urging the Trump Administration to reverse its reckless decision to rescind protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), challenging it’s decision to detain pregnant women, and pushing back on their plans to end Temporary Protection Status (TPS) designation for foreign residents living in America after fleeing natural disasters and crime in other parts of the world.