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Congress blames ICE for immigrant deaths: they are not provided with adequate medical care

Immigrants in U.S. custody have faced widespread disruptions to health care, including problems that have led to death, according to a new Congressional investigation released Thursday, September 24. Writes about it CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

At the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, detainees “often do not receive critical care or face delays,” the investigation said. In addition, the review found that many commercial settings lack medical staff and cannot provide the necessary care for chronic conditions.

In some cases, there have been delays in emergency care, staff shortages and poor sanitation, according to an investigation by House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Caroline Maloney of New York and Subcommittee chairman Jamie Ruskin of Maryland.

Last summer, the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee announced that it was investigating the "rapidly increasing" use of commercial contractors by US President Donald Trump's administration to detain immigrants.

To investigate, the committee requested documents from ICE and two commercial contractors, CoreCivic and the GEO Group. Both companies operate facilities that house over 80% of all ICE detainees.

Committee officials have, among other things, inspected 22 Department of Homeland Security facilities in six states, including ICE detention centers and customs and border control facilities.

The problems of inadequate care in ICE facilities were constant. Last year, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security found expired food and poorly maintained bathrooms during unannounced visits to four immigrant detention centers.

The results of the new investigation came a week after an informant who previously worked at the ICE facility in Georgia detailed the conditions in a complaint filed with the DHS inspector general.

On the subject: Quarantine is not a hindrance: ICE arrested 2000 illegal immigrants in a month

Ken Cuccinelli, a senior DHS official and acting head, called the allegations "shocking" and said he sent a non-ICE team to investigate.

During the inspection, detainees reported that if the facility staff did not consider the medical problems to be urgent, no one took them seriously. “People suffering from migraines, hernias and high blood pressure reported that they were left untreated,” the report said.

For example, a detainee in Texas remained in medical quarantine for nine days with a facial tumor before he was diagnosed with mumps. He permanently lost his hearing in one ear.

ICE Director of Public Affairs Stacey Daniels said the agency is "fully committed to the health and safety of those in care and will review the committee's report."

“However, it is clear that this review of our facilities was carried out to tarnish the reputation of our agency, as opposed to an actual analysis of the care received by the detainees in our custody,” added Daniels.

The committee detailed the deaths of several detainees. In 2018, 47-year-old Hai Chi Tran died of sudden cardiac arrest after eight days in prison. He was placed in solitary confinement at the Aloy CoreCivic Detention Center in Arizona. According to the report, the guard did not follow him and then falsified the data.

CoreCivic does not provide medical or mental health services at the Eloy Detention Center, according to Amanda Gilchrist, the company's director of public affairs. ICE “has full responsibility for contracting, staffing and providing any medical and mental health services,” she said.

“CoreCivic is committed to the safety and health of everyone under our control. We do not provide medical care at most of our immigration centers. Comprehensive medical, mental and dental services are provided primarily by ICE, ”said Amanda Gilchrist, director of public relations at CoreCivic, in a statement.

“Where we provide care, our clinics are staffed with licensed certified doctors, nurses and mental health professionals who meet the highest standards of care,” she said.

GEO Group spokesman Christopher Ferreira also made a statement: "We categorically reject these baseless allegations, which are part of another politically motivated report that ignores more than three decades of providing high-quality services to those we help."

Ferreira said the GEO Group's Adelanto ICE processing center (one of the sites mentioned in the report) "provides safe and humane care and high quality medical services 24/7."

On the subject: He lived in the USA for 40 years: the story of the first immigrant who died from coronavirus in ICE prison

In May 2017, 46-year-old Vicente Caceres-Maradiaga died after nine days of incarceration in a California facility from an enlarged heart and liver. At least five other immigrants have died in Adelanto since 2012, according to the investigation.

“Internal documents received by the committee show that the problems leading to the death of Caceres-Maradiaga were systemic in Adelanto,” the report said.

According to the GEO Group, the center employs about 79 healthcare professionals. According to Ferreira, the medical team conducted more than 2019 consultations in 54.

“For over thirty years we have provided high quality services to the federal government under both Democratic and Republican administrations and have always followed the National Detention Standards. In addition, the center has received high marks from independent accreditation bodies including the American Association of Corrections and the National Commission on Corrective Health, ”he added.

According to the report, prisoners face poor sanitation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has “exacerbated” problems in detention facilities.

According to the ICE conclusion, four detainees have died after contracting the coronavirus infection, and as of September 23, more than 6000 detainees and ICE employees have contracted the virus.

Miscellaneous In the U.S. death immigrants ICE

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