Immigrant rights groups sued the Biden administration this month for information about pregnant migrants and babies born in the U.S. being rushed just hours after delivery back across the Mexican border.
The practice of quickly expelling new mothers and their babies back to Mexico began under the Trump administration, but the lawsuit said it has continued under Mr. Biden, citing recent news reports.
The federal lawsuit seeks records from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol about its policies and medical services being offered to pregnant women, mothers who recently gave birth in the U.S. during the last six months, and any child born while in U.S. custody. Children born in the U.S. are considered U.S. citizens.
“Since late 2019, [CPB] has engaged in the practice of expelling immigrant women who recently gave birth, as well as their U.S. citizen infants, from the United States,” read the 14-page complaint.
One Honduran woman gave birth April 1 in McAllen, Texas, but was unable to stay in the U.S. after her child was delivered. She and her family were sent back to Mexico, according to a report from The Intercept cited in the lawsuit.
“No mother should experience the horror of being dropped off on the other side of the border within days of giving birth,” said Trina Realmuto, executive director of the National Immigration Litigation Alliance, which launched the lawsuit along with other advocacy groups.
“The public deserves to know how CPB is treating pregnant women and how it is grossly abusing Title 42 to expel mothers and newborn U.S. citizen children,” she added.
The government’s policy of expelling asylum seekers began due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to multiple media reports.
It does not appear the Biden administration has yet reversed that policy, even though it has reversed other Trump-era immigration measures such as suspending the construction of the wall along the southern border.
Neither a spokesperson from CBP or from the Justice Department immediately responded to a request for comment about the lawsuit and accusations.