Patterico's Pontifications


Detained Immigrants Sue Over Poor Medical Care In Facilities

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 15 detainees from Sudan, Mexico, as well as non-profits:

Immigrants held in U.S. detention facilities filed a lawsuit Monday decrying what they called shoddy medical care and a failure by authorities to provide accommodations for disabilities.

In the suit filed by disability and civil rights advocates in U.S. District Court, immigrants said they’re placed in isolation as punishment and denied recommended medical treatment and surgery. Some said they’ve been denied wheelchairs and a deaf detainee who communicates in American Sign Language said he has not been provided an interpreter.

The problems harm disabled immigrants and threaten anyone in one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s more than 50,000 detention beds who winds up getting sick or isolated from other detainees, said Monica Porter, staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, one of the organizations that filed the suit.

The agency clarified its position on medical care to detainees:

An agency official said comprehensive medical care is provided to all detainees including dental and 24-hour emergency care and studies have shown about 1 percent of detainees are held in segregated housing at a given time.

On top of concerns about infectious diseases, including outbreaks of mumps and chickenpox, which increase in the overcrowded facilities, here are some of the more specific medical concerns mentioned. These are indeed awful:

*Faour Abdullah Fraihat, has been detained in Adelanto for more than two years and lost vision in his left eye. While an off-site doctor recommended surgery in April, immigration authorities didn’t provide it and he was told last month his vision couldn’t be restored, according to the lawsuit. Fraihat, 57, who has back and knee pain, said he was given a wheelchair but it was taken away after a month. For more than a year, he relied on officers to bring him food, the suit said. He said he fears returning to Jordan because he was threatened after converting to Christianity.

*Another detainee at the facility about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles said he was placed in segregation for a week after filing a grievance against an officer, the suit said.

*Luis Manuel Delgadillo, a 29-year-old who has lived most of his life in the United States, was on medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but his treatment shifted after he was detained in May. Since then, his mental health has suffered, prompting him to miss two court dates, according to the lawsuit.


*[O]ne plaintiff with a brain parasite has received no treatment for over a year.

*Another has not received surgery for a torn rotator cuff during three years in detention.

*[O]ne lost vision in his left eye due to lack of timely care in custody.

The suit argues that: ICE deliberately and systematically denies care to approximately 55,000 illegal immigrants currently in custody at county jails, and privately and publicly run detention centers.

There is the belief that privately contracted facilities and county jails are unable to provide the same level of care as ICE facilities, and are unable to be closely monitored.

Meanwhile, the government is facing push back over the possibility of building a new ICE detention facility for unaccompanied minors in Southern California:

The Inland Empire is being considered for a federal facility that could hold up to 430 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposal has prompted objections from House Democrats who represent the region and concern from an advocate for the local immigrant community.

On Aug. 5, the General Services Administration, which oversees the leasing and construction of federal buildings, posted a notice indicating a desire to lease space for 15 to 17 years in the Inland region.

In an emailed statement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said its Office of Refugee Resettlement is exploring “vacant properties in Virginia, Central Florida, and Los Angeles to lease for potential future use as state-licensed permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied alien children.”

“The search for an addition of permanent licensed facilities is being pursued to reduce the potential need for unlicensed temporary flux shelters in the future.”

Here are the particulars:

Documents call for a 74,000- to 91,000-square-foot facility in the Inland Empire to house “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” defined by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 as anyone under 18 who has no lawful immigration status in the United States and lacks a parent or legal guardian in this country to provide care and physical custody…children to be housed in 215 bedrooms – two children per bedroom – and space for 72 bathrooms with showers, classrooms, medical exams, a kitchen/dining area and 43,560 square feet – five youth soccer fields – of playgrounds…As many as 430 staff members working eight-hour shifts would provide around-the-clock care for the children.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


28 Responses to “Detained Immigrants Sue Over Poor Medical Care In Facilities”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Good morning, Dana.

    A Bivens actions to challenge the conditions of confinement is available to every federal prisoner in the jurisdiction of the United States, and it’s a good thing, too, although the remedy is barely minimal standards of human decency, and often too little, too late.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Are immigration detainees provided with free legal counsel if they can’t afford it, like defendants in criminal cases?

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. No.
    There are lawyers who volunteer to represent them pro bono, the ACLU, other open borders organizations, their consulates sometimes.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. We get what we put up with.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Dana,
    Can you clarify if this is about people for Sudan and Mexico or people from a place called Sudan that’s in Mexico or something else?

    Time123 (c9382b)

  7. I have to admit to minimal sympathy for some of this, but someone that converted to Christianity and faced persecution for it going blind in one eye in our custody makes me feel ashamed. Assuming it’s as being reported of course. Glad we have a process to get to the bottom of this.

    Time123 (c9382b)

  8. Are interpreters private contractors or union?

    mg (8cbc69)

  9. the aplc is a a party to this suit, which makes my spidey senses tingle, sudan was one of those 7 countries prescribed by the immigration, so how did he get here,

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Time123: are people who convert to Christianity more worthy of sympathy for poor medical care than those who have not converted to Christianity?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  11. well conversion, can be a death sentence in certain parts of Jordan, remember Zarqawi comes from there,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. Why. Do they not hire. Enough people. To. Process. The cases. In A Timely Manner?

    Most of these particular problems and pretty much ALL the problems we are having with this issue right now could be solved if they HAD ENOUGH STAFF TO PROCESS THE CLAIMS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THEY ARE DETAINING! Yes, it costs bloody money but it costs a mint to hold them for all this extra time. We’d probably be saving money if they hired enough staff.

    Nic (896fdf)

  13. it’s not a crisis, we were told for six months while ocasio cortez, wrote in crayon on the house blackboard, so is the same fraihat from 10 years ago,

    narciso (d1f714)

  14. More doctors, nurses and medicine to provide better medical care, more facilities, more lawyers investigators, and immigration judges, more food,…

    We must increase the taxes on our citizens, cut student loans, and the military, until we can provide decent care and living for those who have crashed the border, and those who will follow. Clearly, nothing else makes sense.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  15. @17 Well, gee, we could just shoot them in the streets and leave the bodies to rot and then we’d only have the cost of ammunition.

    OTOH, we could do it right, do it efficiently, and get it done. This is one of those situations where if you spend all your time keeping your eyes on the pennies, the dollars will float way. I could buy a new pair of shoes every year for 10 dollars or one pair for 50 that will last 10 years. Sure I paid 50 today and you paid 10, but in 10 years, I will have still only paid 50 and you would have paid 100.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. narciso (d1f714) — 8/20/2019 @ 10:47 am

    sudan was one of those 7 countries prescribed by the immigration, so how did he get here,

    without a U.S. visa, by arriving at the Mexican border presumably.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  17. *[O]ne lost vision in his left eye due to lack of timely care in custody

    Thisiis not additonal. It’s one of the cases mentioned earlier.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  18. 18: I didn’t realize I’d get a response from an SF or LA City Council member!

    Who else would illogically equate objections to subsidies for border-crashing migrants, with having them liquidated in the streets?

    And who else could waive away history, economics, common sense and current events, to impart the wisdom that more $$$$$ for border-crashers will “do it efficiently, and get it done.”

    Because government operates efficiently with more money?

    Because more money subsidies “got the homeless problem done” in LA and SF?

    I don’t want to intrude:

    But do you think the border-crashing migrants are the last ones we’ll see if add more money for food, medical care, etc?

    Can you think of reasons why more money and subsidies might attract more?

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  19. @21 Logical extension of your position. Why bother to keep people from dying or becoming permanently disabled in custody, because it’s cheaper not to. Why bother to hire enough staff to get them gone when we can just keep building more and more detention facilities.

    There are an fton of people in detention because we don’t have the staff to process them quickly enough. We have a facilities problem because we have too many people in detention because don’t have enough staff to process them quickly enough. We have a medical care problem because we have too many people in facilities because we don’t have enough staff to process them quickly enough. If we have the staff to process them quickly enough and send them home faster, then we don’t won’t need more money for medical acre and facilities because they will be gone. (not that I think we should not provide medical care to those we have in detention. We aren’t barbarians.)

    It is cheaper to be fast.

    Nic (896fdf)

  20. “The homeless problem/poverty strata etc., will vanish if we just get more money to give them decent food, clothing, lawyers, and medical care. They’ll be gone.”

    Sir: We have a medical care/facilities problem because people are pouring over the border for the type of benefits you want to throw out as a starter kit, like chum in the water.

    We have debt problem- not because taxes aren’t high enough, but because the government spends too much.

    On the other hand, I have your family motto picked out though: ratione peccaverit mihi. Or roughly, “Logic offends me.”

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  21. @23. Sure, then, lets just keep doing what we are doing now, building more and more and more and more and more detention centers because we already can’t process the number of people currently being detained. More detention centers are cheap, right?

    Nic (896fdf)

  22. From what ive seen mr. Fraihat has been kicking around the system since 2005-6, not 2016.

    Narciso (50a424)

  23. In NorCal, we’ve recently seen the CHP working with CalTrans to break-up homeless encampments that have been set up near on and off ramps.

    It takes a lot of complaining, but they finally get it done.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. Would the person have lost the eye if they’d stayed at home.
    We are in a unique position of having our governors tell all people from other lands that they can come here and all their medical will be free…. even gender reassignment surgery.
    We are going to be flooded with million(s) dollar in medical bills refugees.
    They are going to bankrupt the entire system just by diverting doctors and nurses to the border.

    steveg (354706)

  25. Again, we get what we put up with. I’m afraid common sense is not so common these days.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

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