This memorandum on CBP’s policy and required actions regarding pregnant, postpartum, nursing individuals, and infants establishes formal guidance related to care in custody and documentation requirements consistent with recommendations from the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG Report No. OIG-21-49) made in July 2021. This is the first action CBP is taking to address the recommendations in that report.
CBP places the highest priority on the health and well-being of persons in its custody. The dedicated professionals at CBP serve at the highest standard of federal law enforcement, working to enhance our nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration, and trust. This guidance is an example of CBP’s ongoing and continuous improvement efforts.
The policy and required actions include measures such as:
- Offering all pregnant persons medical assessments at CBP facilities with onsite medical support on the Southwest Border.
- Ensuring that every childbirth in CBP custody is considered a significant incident and will be reported through the established procedures.
- Ensuring welfare checks for individuals covered under the policy every 15 minutes.
- Ensuring that individuals covered under the policy are aware they have access to snacks, water, milk, and juice.
- Ensuring CBP facilities across the Southwest Border (and eventually throughout the United States) are equipped with diaper changing stations and safe sleepers/bassinets.
- Making all reasonable efforts to ensure that mothers have privacy while they breastfeed.
- Making every effort to ensure that all individuals covered under the policy are not required to stand for long periods of time and are provided appropriate space to sit/rest/sleep.
- Establishing a comprehensive, searchable documentation process for all known and reported pregnancies, as well as childbirths, whether within a CBP facility (including vehicles) or at an external medical facility.
This policy is not intended to have any effect on the immigration processing or outcomes for the individuals covered by this policy. Those without a legal basis to enter the United States will continue to be placed in expedited or full removal proceedings.
Policy Statement and Required Actions Regarding Pregnant, Postpartum, Nursing Individuals, and Infants in Custody