Thursday, July 3, 2008

Detainee Deaths lead IG to conclude that ICE needs to account for its treatment of immigrants

A special review of immigration detainee deaths by the Federal Inspector General has concluded that ICE, the agency in charge of immigrant detensions, has been lax in reporting detainee deaths. Recent reports have brought to light the malignant state of medical care given to immigration detainees. Worse still, is the failure of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in reporting or covering up deaths of immigrants while in detention by ICE or private contractors. As reported by the The New York Times.

The federal immigration agency should report all deaths in detention promptly, not only to the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, but also to state authorities where required by law, the inspector general has recommended after a “special review” of the deaths of two immigrant detainees.
Congress, advocates for immigrants and the news media have highlighted the lack of systematic accountability in such cases, and documented problems with the medical care provided in the detention system, a patchwork of county jails, privately run prisons and federal facilities.

That inspection, by the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee, also found that only 11 of 20 detainees with chronic conditions were regularly scheduled for chronic care clinics, and that its policies did not fulfill requirements to notify the Homeland Security Department — the system’s parent agency — or the Justice Department of deaths.

International and domestic human rights groups have called on ICE to account for the poor treatment of detainees, especially as it concerns medical care. Among, the human rights groups condemning ICE are Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, Asian human rights groups and Human Rights First, amongst other human rights groups.

Eristic ragemail has previously posted on specific cases of medical neglect and death by ICE and its private contractors.

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