Tuesday, May 30, 2017
A growing body of data indicates that health care at immigration detention centers falls far below human rights standards. In January 2017, the Health Justice program of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest released Detained and Denied, a report chronicling the neglectful and dangerous treatment meted out to detained immigrants in the New York City area. The NYLPI report was followed in May with a nationally-focused study issued by Human Rights Watch titled Systemic Indifference: Dangerous and Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention. HRW found that "unreasonable delays in care and unqualified medical staff  are likely to expose a record number of people to dangerous conditions under President Donald Trump's ramped-upe deportation and detention plans." A third report, Fatal Neglect, prepared by the ACLU Detention Watch and others, focuses on deaths in immigrant detention. While immigration detention deaths and medical neglect also occurred under prior administrations, the concern is that these numbers will increase as detentions rise. Indeed, the New York Times reported in April that the Administration's new contracts for jail space to house immigrant detainees will relax or eliminate requirements that immigrants' medical needs be addressed in a reasonable time.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called on the US to abolish mandatory detention of migrants.