01 July 2024

Where are the Prosecutions?

Rather unsurprisingly, it has been determined that 95% of all deaths in ICE custody were preventable.

If you are holding someone in custody, you have an obligation to take care for their safety and health, and the immigration enforcers are ignoring that.  This is criminal negligence, and should be prosecuted:

Nearly all of the deaths in U.S. immigration detention facilities over a five-year period were preventable, but no officials have faced serious accountability, a new report found.

Of the 52 people who died in detention under the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from January 2017 to December 2021, 49 of the deaths, or 95%, were preventable or possibly preventable if appropriate medical care had been provided. The new report, “Deadly Failures: Preventable Deaths in U.S. Immigration Detention,” reviewed more than 14,500 pages of documents published by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Physicians for Human Rights, and American Oversight on June 25.

None of the private prison corporations—which currently hold more than 90% of the detainees under ICE custody—have faced meaningful consequences as million-dollar contracts have been doled out to the same facilities where preventable deaths have occurred, the report showed.

“It is a system that’s rotten to the core,” said Eunice Hyunhye Cho, senior attorney at ACLU’s National Prison Project and lead co-author of the report. “From bottom to top, you see some very minimal slaps on the wrists and blaming of the lowest level employees, but there’s really no true accountability regarding the disaster of the medical care system in ICE’s detention facilities,” she said.

After deaths in detention, ICE failed to conduct rigorous investigations—failing to interview key witnesses, omitting key inculpatory facts, and allowing evidence to be destroyed, the report stated. ICE also withheld information from the relatives of the deceased. To obtain the medical record of a loved one, a family has to take ICE to court and litigate for years to receive often incomplete files.

“It is a system of impunity and lack of transparency as ICE and private corporations are working hand in hand in perpetuating dangerous and deadly conditions,” Cho said.

This is a feature, not a bug.

The current immigration enforcement agencies have cruelty and brutality as policy. 

It is seen as a disincentive to potential illegal immigrants.  The cruelty is literally the point.


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