Push to End Immigrant Deaths in Detention Centers

April 4, 2016 6:51 am
by David Jakeman

The Northwest Detention Center is in the news again, along with other reports on the overall treatment of immigrants being detained across the country. It is astounding to see how many complaints can be made and how little can be done. The story of Angel Padilla and his kidney cancer was detailed in another article on this site. Tacoma immigration attorneys recognize the poor reputation that the local detention center has.

Padilla’s Detention Center Experience

Padilla has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, and he has so far not received the necessary treatment he’s needed. In his support, the Not One More campaign has rallied to his side, calling for his release. They say he is an example of an Obama administration approach that has not treated undocumented immigrants humanely.

They have begun a petition for his treatment and release and have directed it to federal officials. Tacoma immigration attorneys have had a number of clients in the Northwest Detention Center receive poor treatment. The living conditions have not been easy for many, but it is unlikely that the situation will change any time soon, no matter how much it is protested.

ACLU and Others Criticize ICE Proceedings

Padilla’s situation is not the only example throughout the country. The American Civil Liberties Union and immigration advocacy groups recently examined ICE documents from the two years following 2010. Upon careful study, they released a report that accused ICE of deliberately ignoring deaths of immigrants being held in detention.

Part of the problem, the report alleges, is that ICE did not comply with its own standards and consistently violated protocol that was supposed to protect those being held. There have been eight cases of death where this appears to have been the case, yet seven of those took place in facilities that received passing grades despite the fact that the Office of Detention Oversight (ODO) had found that they did not meet the medical care standards.

Three of the deaths happened in centers run by the GEO Group, the group that runs the detention center in Tacoma.1 Immigration attorneys can advocate for their clients, but part of the challenge can be that not all immigrants in detention have effective advocates, either because of the incompetence of their attorneys or because they cannot afford it. The Padilla case is reportedly not the only one, but actually one of many in the Northwest Detention Center where detainees are not receiving the proper medical treatment they need.

1 – http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/02/29/23634201/report-links-medical-failures-at-immigrant-detention-centers-to-deaths-authors-call-for-angel-padillas-release

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