Substandard Medical Care at Immigration Detention Centers

Substandard Medical Care at Immigration Detention Centers

Research from Human Rights Watch shows that far too many deaths have occurred to inmates at immigration detention centers, many of which are run by private, for-profit, prison companies who contract with the federal government to operate these facilities. Investigation into these deaths by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have found that several aspects of the healthcare provided at these facilities is substandard, and some aspects may have contributed or led to the death of some detained immigrants. For instance, one man was detained for four years, during which he was housed at the Theo Lacy Facility and the Adelanto Detention Facility, both operated by Geo Group, a private company. The man ultimately died in 2015 of organ failure attributed to widespread cancer. Two independent medical experts indicated that the man likely had suffered from cancer symptoms since 2013; however, his symptoms went unaddressed and untreated until a mere month prior to his death. The man reportedly had asked for medical care on numerous occasions and submitted a grievance about the lack of medical care he received. This is only one of dozens of examples of individuals housed in immigration detention facilities who severely suffered and even died due to substandard medical care. Much of the suffering and many deaths were premature and perhaps even wholly preventable with basic medical care. In fact, in June, 2016, ICE released reports of its investigations into the deaths of 18 immigrants at 10 different facilities nationwide over a three-year period. Independent medical examiners determined that delays in obtaining emergency medical care, necessary surgeries, and a total lack of routine care for individuals with diabetes and pneumonia definitely contributed to, if not were the direct cause of death in some of the detained immigrants. In addition to substandard medical care, mental health care appeared to be largely unavailable to immigrant detainees. At least one inmate went without necessary medication to treat his schizophrenia, and detention facility officials exacerbated the situation by disciplining him and placing him in solitary confinement for issues relate to his otherwise untreated mental health problems. Substandard medical at immigration detention centers aside, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help you or a loved one if you are detained and face deportation for any reason. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.
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