A group of migrants await processing in a U.S. Border Patrol detention center (AP)

Unhealthy Conditions Reported at U.S. Immigration Detention Centers

May 15, 2008 09:46 AM
by Isabel Cowles
Deaths in U.S. immigration detention centers have prompted many to examine detainee medical treatment and housing and find them dangerously inadequate.

30-Second Summary

Questions have been raised recently about the condition of the detention centers operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

An article published by the New York Times reported that over 60 deaths have occurred in American immigration detention centers since 2004, many of them allegedly due to negligence.

In an interview with National Public Radio, immigration journalist Elizabeth Llorente explained that immigration advocates have been concerned about the standards “for humane treatment, medical treatment and psychological treatment” at detention centers across America.

The New York Times ran a similar piece in February of last year, detailing the “prisonlike housing” of the detention centers. A recent collaborative feature by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes also reported on the inadequate conditions at these centers.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement insists that the detention centers are strictly monitored and follow specific guidelines for health and sanitation. According to ICE’s Web site, “Despite [our] best efforts to inform the media of the facts relating to its health care efforts, the New York Times and the Washington Post refused to acknowledge the increased funding for detainee health care or the decrease in mortality rates.  This absence of true and unbiased reporting is unfortunate.”

Headline Link: ‘Conditions at detention centers questioned’

Background: Press critical of detention center conditions

Reactions: ICE refutes accusations

Reference: U.S. Immigration Guide


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