RICHMOND (CBS SF) — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, and three of her Senate colleagues wrote a letter Friday calling on the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General to investigate the detention of pregnant women in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities.

The letter was addressed by Harris and fellow senators Tom Carper, Maggie Hassan and Patty Murray to Inspector General John V. Kelly in the wake of news reports scrutinizing the treatment of pregnant women in the centers.

“Detention is a profoundly traumatic experience for anyone and especially so for pregnant women,” the senators wrote. “Detention can frequently lead to extreme stress, depression and severe health complications for both a pregnant woman and her child.

“Pregnant women have repeatedly described the fear, uncertainty and exhaustion they experience as a result of being detained.”

Last month, Harris toured the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility in California, where she met with mothers who have been separated from their children. She also introduced the DONE act, with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, to stop the expansion of ICE detention facilities and ensure better oversight of the facilities.

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston announced plans this week to end a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service that allowed ICE to house detainees at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond.

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