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Adult men detained in a standing room only cell at U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station in June 2019 in McAllen, Texas. Photo: Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland Security via Getty Images

Seventeen complaints of neglecting the medical needs of detained immigrants are detailed in a March 20 letter to top ICE leadership from Homeland Security's officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, BuzzFeed reports.

The impact: Four detainees' deaths, referenced in an internal memo from an agency whistleblower obtained by BuzzFeed News, are linked to allegations of inadequate medical treatment and unaddressed concerns over detained migrants' physical or mental health.

Details: The memo says the agency's inspector general received its first complaint in April 2018, which claims that detainees were subjected to "forcible medication injections as a means of behavior control" and "misdiagnosis of medical and mental health conditions," among other accusations.

  • One detainee allegedly required surgery after lacerating his own penis following deteriorating symptoms of psychosis — which were not treated by a psychiatrist, despite several requests for treatment from ICE health officials.
  • Medical staff allegedly failed to treat opioid, alcohol and benzodiazepines withdrawal in three different detainees. All detainees later required hospital care.
  • Medical care for a deceased detainee was described as "grossly negligent" in one complaint, and an ICE Health Service Corps' report on another deceased detainee was said to be "very misleading."

What they're saying: ICE health leadership "failed to take appropriate action" in response to 10 of the complaints after policy violations were made clear, the agency's civil liberties office writes.

Where it stands: The memo, dated May 2019, states that an investigation into the complaints will take place.

Go deeper: Detained migrants say they want to eat, shower, brush their teeth

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.