Aug 20, 2019

ICE sued for failing to provide basic health care in detention centers

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says comprehensive medical care is provided to everyone in ICE custody. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A class action lawsuit filed Monday by civil rights groups alleges there's been an "abject failure" by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide basic medical and mental health care to migrants in 158 U.S. detention facilities.

The big picture: The suit, filed against ICE and Trump administration officials in the U.S District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the defendants are "fully aware of the deplorable conditions" inside the facilities, but they're "deliberately indifferent" to a series of systemic failures inside the centres.

  • Department of Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan is among the officials named in the suit, filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other immigration advocacy groups on behalf of 15 people detained at 8 ICE facilities.

The other side: ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told CNN the department doesn't comment on pending litigation but comprehensive medical care is provided to everyone in ICE custody. As of August 10, there were 55,530 people detained in ICE custody, per CNN.

  • Cox told the news outlet that detainees have access to dental care and 24-hour emergency care and that staffing includes registered nurses, licensed mental health providers, physician assistants and a physician.

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76 arrested after ICE protest outside Microsoft store in New York

Protesters block traffic on Fifth Avenue outside the Microsoft store in Manhattan on Saturday. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Police said they arrested 76 people after demonstrators blocked traffic outside Microsoft's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City while protesting the tech giant's work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CNN reports.

Go deeperArrowSep 15, 2019

Trump rule would indefinitely detain migrant kids with their parents

A migrant family jumps the wall to reach the U.S. Photo: David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a new rule on Wednesday that would allow migrant families who crossed the border illegally to be kept in detention centers long-term.

Why it matters: A decades-old court decision — the Flores agreement — has prevented the government from holding minors in detention for longer than 20 days. The new regulation would replace that and give the federal government more power in determining how to care for migrant minors and families in its custody. The rule was first proposed following the family separation crisis last year, and is certain to face legal challenges.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Migrants with serious illness, crime victims may now face deportation

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Immigrants battling severe illnesses who would ordinarily be given special, temporary protection from deportation have been told those protections are no longer available and they must leave the U.S. within 33 days, according to letters sent by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and first reported by WBUR.

Why it matters: USCIS has since said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will now oversee the "medical deferred action" program — a change that had not been formally announced. An ICE official told the New York Times that the agency "had no idea" about the change, nor is it prepared to handle the new responsibility.

Go deeperArrowAug 29, 2019