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Getting sick in an immigration detention center can be deadly

There may be immigrants in Louisiana who will wind up being taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at some point. Perhaps a traffic stop will lead to a particular detainment or ICE officers will go to a residence, specifically seeking a particular member of the household. Things like this happen every day, and many immigrants say they live in fear that it will happen to them or their loved ones. Recent news suggests that immigration detention centers are dangerous places to be, especially if a detainee becomes ill.

Detainee death reviews were recently made public by ICE concerning immigrants who died in detention between 2015 and 2017. Medical analysts studied the reports and determined that most of the deaths involved substandard medical care. One man in particular had been vomiting and presenting symptoms of heart attack but was not transported to a hospital until it was too late to treat his condition. Sadly, he died a few days later.

A nurse was reportedly alerted when the man had become ill but allegedly told detention officers that she would not tend to the patient because she did not wish to expose herself to his illness. It was determined that at least eight out of 15 deaths were likely preventable and were caused by medical negligence. In 2017, ICE reportedly detained more than 40,000 people per day, and officials have defended their practices by noting that fatalities are a small percentage of total detentions.

Many immigrant advocates in Louisiana and throughout the United States believe total system reform is needed to protect those who are sent to immigration detention centers, especially those with special health needs. Any man or woman in this state currently experiencing legal status problems has resources available for support. One such resource is to discuss a concerning matter with an attorney well-versed in U.S. immigration law.