Judicial Watch filed suit today against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for failing to respond by the deadline established by federal law to two Freedom of Information Act requests concerning tax-funded birth control and abortion services for illegal immigrants.
The non-profit advocacy group that often files FOIA-based litigation requested documents from ICE on Sept. 24, 2012, concerning "family planning or birth control services provided to detainees in ICE's custody," and concerning "termination of pregnancies by female persons in ICE's custody, including records concerning transportation arranged for or provided to detainees for the purpose of receiving abortion services and any and all records regarding costs associated with such services."
Also on Sept. 24, 2012, Judicial Watch filed an FOIA with ICE "seeking access to any and all records pertaining to hormone therapy and other health care services and medications provided to transgender detainees of ICE, as well the cost of any such services."
Both requests were for expenditures during the government's 2011 fiscal year and specifically said no information was being sought about the identities of individuals who received any of the services described. Receipt of both requests were acknowledged by ICE, but to date no response has been received by Judicial Watch to either request.
"It will surprise most Americans to know that illegal alien detainees can receive birth control, sex change procedures, and abortions courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "This is an embarrassing scandal for the Obama administration, which is why the administration has violated the law in refusing our requests for information."
The Judicial Watch FOIAs were prompted by passages in an ICE document published last year in which it said illegal immigrants being detained by federal officials would provide "upon request, appropriately trained medical personnel" for "non-directive (impartial) advice and consultation about family planning and birth control, and where medically appropriate, prescribe and dispense birth control."
The ICE document also described conditions when "ICE will assume the costs associated with a female detainee's decision to terminate a pregnancy" in cases of rape or incest.
Judicial Watch said in a statement today that the ICE document states that persons "already receiving hormone therapy when taken into ICE custody shall have continued access to" and shall be provided with "transgender-related health care and medication based on medical need."
Go here for more from Judicial Watch on the ICE FOIA requests.