ICE to Improve Health Care for Detainees

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials agreed to provide constitutionally adequate levels of medical and mental health care to immigration detainees in a settlement approved in June. This settles the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that charged charging the San Diego Correctional Facility (SDCF) with caused unnecessary suffering and death because of their deficient care.

According to David Blair, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “ICE now recognizes that it is unconstitutional not to provide people in government custody with all necessary health care.”

Many of these detainees have not committed any crimes and are merely caught up in our complex immigration laws. Some have had long journeys fleeing brutal persecution in their home countries. Now, hopefully they will receive the medical care they deserve. In particular the settlement states:
• Detainees must receive health care meeting or exceeding the National Commission on Correctional Health Care standards;
• SDCF must hire four full-time psychiatric nurses and 1 additional full-time psychiatrist;
• Immigration officials must remove statements from their policies implying detainees will receive only emergency medical services; and
• Immigration officials must include explicit statements in their policies that detainees shall receive medical care whenever it is necessary to address a serious medical need.