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Health care at detention facilities linked to immigrant deaths

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2016 | Immigration Detention |

California residents may be aware that U.S. authorities have been widely criticized for the conditions at many immigration detention facilities and the treatment of detainees. According to a number of immigrant advocates, detainees have been routinely denied due process and separated from family members, and research conducted by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union has concluded that several detainees have died due to substandard health care.

The research involved scrutinizing reports filed by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement review board, and it revealed that many immigrant detainees had died because they did not receive adequate health care or were not treated quickly enough. The reports were filed between 2010 and 2012, and they included details about the deaths of 155 detainees. The researchers singled out the conditions at a detention center in Arizona as being particularly poor, and they believe that matters are likely to get worse rather than better unless action is taken.

The researchers cited the case of a Mexican immigrant who died of a heart ailment in October 2011. While the man’s fellow detainees said that he had been complaining about chest pains for several weeks, immigration officers who did not speak his language were unaware of his symptoms and opted not to ask a translator for assistance. The officers were also criticized for not contacting emergency medical personnel quickly enough when the man’s condition worsened.

Living and working legally in the United States is a dream shared by millions of people around the world, but achieving this goal can sometimes be an ordeal. Many immigration programs have strict deadlines and require extensive documentation, and even minor missteps may lead to a denial or deportation. Experienced immigration attorneys could assess the situations of those who are seeking asylum in the United States or wish to pursue a work visa or permanent residence, and they may also advocate on their behalf during immigration hearings.


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