The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California strongly opposes the Trump administration’s announced policy that threatens to violate the rights of women throughout the world seeking visas to travel to this country.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims everyone’s freedom of movement, stating in Article 13 that people have the right to leave or return to any country, including their own.

This traveling-while-pregnant ban is one more effort to accommodate the racism of this administration. Banning pregnant women from entering the country is arbitrary and promotes harassment of women travelers.

The Trump administration is spreading discredited notions of birth tourism. Women, especially women of color, have many reasons to travel to the United States. Pregnancy is a false disqualifier.

This policy expands de facto, ongoing profiling of women before they travel, even as it directs officers not to ask women seeking visas whether they are pregnant. But overt and covert profiling remains illegal, regardless of how they couch it. They can’t escape lawsuits just because they don’t ask the question.

We already know DHS and border agents mistreat people who seek other legal processes, such as asylum, by jailing them or forcing them to await resolution in unsafe conditions in another country.  

We cannot trust this administration to respect the rights of women, migrants, immigrants or travelers. We oppose this policy and uphold the rights of women of all nationalities to request visas to travel to this country in peace, without harassment.

Angelica Salas is the Executive Director for CHIRLA)

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