Magazine article Americas Quarterly

Immigrant Detention Centers

Magazine article Americas Quarterly

Immigrant Detention Centers

Article excerpt

For ten days last November, detained immigrant Guido Newbrough sought medical attention for the bacterial infection that was affecting his heart. His repeated pleas to authorities at the Virginia facility where he was being held fell on deaf ears. He was not only denied care, but his complaints earned him a stay in an isolation cell. Newbrough, who had lived in the United States for 42 of his 48 years, died shortly afterward.

Newbrough was sadly not the only such case. Since 2003, 91 immigrants have died in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Currently more than 33,000 undocumented immigrants are held on any given day for immigration offenses in the United States- a threefold increase since the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington DC. More than 311,000 such immigrants were detained in 2007. ICE anticipates this number to increase to an estimated 442,941 detainees during 2009, raising serious concerns about human rights abuse. The conditions under which immigrants are held often violate U. …

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