Substandard Medical Care in ICE Detention Is Killing Immigrants, Endangering Lives

Human Rights Watch has a new report that exposes dangerously substandard medical care in ICE detention facilities around the country and reveals that more people died in immigration detention in fiscal year 2017 than any year since 2009. Physicians reviewed 15 deaths in immigration detention from December 2015 to April 2017, determining that substandard medical care contributed or led to eight of the 15 deaths. “What we found is ICE, the agency that’s detaining now 40,000 people… and wants to expand, cannot provide adequately for the safety of the people that it holds,” says Clara Long, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. She’s the author of the report “Code Red: The Fatal Consequences of Dangerously Substandard Medical Care in Immigration Detention.”

AMY GOODMAN: So we’re going to go back to Clara Long to talk about the new report that she has just come out with. Clara Long is a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Code Red—that’s the name of this explosive Human Rights Watch report released this week that exposes dangerously substandard medical care in ICE detention facilities around the country. More people died in immigration detention in 2017 than any year since 2009. Physicians reviewed 15 deaths in immigration detention from December 2015 to April 2017, determining that substandard medical care contributed or led to eight of the 15 deaths. Here is a video Human Rights Watch produced to accompany the report. You hear first from the report’s author, our guest Clara Long, then Dr. Robert Cohen, who investigated ICE medical reports of deaths in custody. This is Clara Long.

CLARA LONG: Moises Tino Lopez had first one and then a second seizure in immigration detention. Our medical expert said that the first seizure and certainly the second seizure should have prompted a high level of care and concern. That did not happen, and he ultimately had a third seizure that was fatal.

DR. ROBERT COHEN: My task was to say, “Was this death…

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