A new report by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest documents serious, often life-threatening deficiencies in the medical care provided to people detained in New York City-area immigration detention facilities. The legal advocacy group says its research shows that federal immigration officials and county jails are delaying and denying necessary and essential care – leading to devastating health consequences such as emergency surgery, delayed cancer diagnoses and worsening conditions of treatable diseases and pain.
The report, Detained and Denied: Healthcare Access in Immigration Detention, comes amid a renewed push to find and arrest undocumented immigrants, a “crackdown” hailed by President Donald Trump on Twitter, reports Politico. The detentions chronicled by the advocacy group are not meant to be punitive. The immigrants sit in jail awaiting a hearing, which usually ends with the person being released, deported or in some cases moved to another facility. But requests for medicine — even urgent care such as a biopsy or ultrasound — can get bogged down by the bureaucracy. The report is based on interviews with 47 detainees who were being held between May 2015 and November 2016 at correctional facilities in the New York area.