Monday’s disclosure of 10 previously unreported deaths at immigrant detention centers highlights the need for reform at those facilities, say both immigrant rights groups and the government.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced the deaths that it apparently discovered during an in-depth review of agency records, which was prompted by a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In total, 104 immigrants have died at federal detention centers since 2003.
The deaths revealed Monday were thought to have occurred between 2004 and 2007. The causes were not released.
“Medical care has been the chief concern,” says Kevin Keenan, executive director for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. “There are no enforceable standards for medical care or anything else inside these facilities – there are guidelines but no way to enforce them.”