U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Friday that it will no longer detain illegal alien women with babies under on year old, or illegal alien women who are either pregnant or nursing, except under “exceptional circumstances.”

ICE detailed the new policy in a press release posted to its website:

“Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new policy for individuals known to be pregnant or nursing, which includes a year of postpartum in recognition of the time needed for infant development and parental bonding. The policy, which complements ICE’s national detention standards, family residential standards, and ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) policies, states that ICE should not detain, arrest or take into custody for an administrative violation of the immigration laws individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing, unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist.”

“The Postpartum period includes a one-year period immediately after an individual gives birth to their child,” ICE explains on its website, which also defines the “exceptional circumstances” which would allow detention of illegal alien women who, otherwise, cannot be detained:

“Exceptional Circumstances exist only in the following circumstances: (1) the individual poses national security concerns; or (2) the individual poses an imminent risk of death, violence, or physical harm to any individual.”

Additionally, pregnant, postpartum, and nursing illegal alien women who are already in custody should also be set free, the ICE directive says:

“There may also be times when ICE identifies pregnant, postpartum, or nursing individuals who are already detained in ICE custody. When that occurs, ICE personnel, through the appropriate chain of command, must immediately notify the FOD [Field Office Director], or designee, and the appropriate medical staff ( e.g., Field Medical Coordinator (FMC) or Health Services Administrator (HSA)) to determine if continued detention is appropriate.”