Immigrant Deaths in Holding Facilities

With so many new laws being passed, both at the state level and the national level, concerning illegal immigration, confusing and uncertainty about the issue has spread all over the country. The recent crackdown on immigration has led to an ever-growing number of individuals being detained in the country's immigration jails. These jails have become a holding place while the courts try to wade through thousands and thousands of cases concerning the deportation status of these individuals. The problem is that no one quite knows what goes on inside of these prisons.

Since this crackdown began in 2008, information about these jails has been sought after by family members, newspapers, and the public as a whole. However, mystery, silence and secrets have hidden the majority of the activity going on. The one thing that is known is that there are a surprising number of deaths inside of these holding facilities. At the beginning of the surge, the New York Times was able to gain access to a list of the number of deaths, but who the individuals actually were and the causes behind their deaths were still unknown.

It is now coming to light that these deaths have caused quite a flurry of activity among government officials. Apparently, thousands of reports had been made concerning the conditions of these jails. However, this information was quickly covered up and any effort of outside investigation was blocked. Such important information, though, cannot stay covered up for long. The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union were able to obtain the information by calling upon the Freedom of Information Act.

The facts and figures that surfaced showed that there have been 107 deaths since October of 2003. With so much controversy facing these numbers, the Obama Administration has promised it will take control of immigration detention. Rather than have an unorganized, chaotic system of privately run jails and holding centers, the administration plans to pour more money and oversight into the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It has become clear that the officials running the jail system used their positions of authority to hide evidence of mistreatment and block investigation.

A number of specific finding concerning detainees have emerged. A number of men died due to not receiving the medical treatment they needed. Another man was already dead when the doctors claim to have given him pain medication—a clear falsification. To further aggravate the problem, the officials refused to disclose this information to anybody, including the family members or other government officials. Even though information has been uncovered at a number of different points, revealing the abuse and negligence in the system, efforts to change and improve have not been taken on. Instead, cover-ups are just as common and secrecy is the main policy. In fact, there has been evidence that the facilities are undercounting the number of deaths that are occurring inside the jails.

If you or a family member is an immigrant and have been mistreated at the hands of the government, you should take immediate action. Such cases should not be overlooked. Injustice can happen to anyone and every person is entitled to defend themselves from such abuse. When deciding which path to take, the best place to start is to hire an immigration attorney from a firm who wants to fight for your cause. One such firm is Musa-Obregon & Associates. This firm has 75 years of experience in its reservoir. A lawyer who devotes the majority of time and resources to the immigration field will be able to best represent you during this difficult and distressing time.

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