On the Hot Seat Over Detainee Medical Care, ICE Responds

On May 1, 2008, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) in the House and Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) in the Senate introduced the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008.

A few days later, The New York Times published several articles on detainee deaths in detention, including "Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in Custody" on May 5, 2008, and an editorial "Death by Detention" on May 6, 2008.

On May 11, 2008, the The Washington Post ran the first article in a four part series "Careless Detention: Medical Care in Immigrant Prisons." The Washington Post series was a joint investigation with 60 Minutes, which featured the story "Detention in America," also on May 11, 2008.

In response, on May 14, 2008, ICE released a press release "Detainee Health Care: The Rest of the Story," which links to a Myths vs. Facts statement on the New York Times May 6 article, a broad statement in response to the Washington Post Coverage, as well as individual responses to first, second, and third stories in the series, and a response to the 60 Minutes coverage of detainee healthcare.

ICE also highlighted fact sheets on Detainee Health Care, DRO: Detention and Mortality Rates, Suicide Prevention Initiatives, and a statement on ICE's Commitment to Detainee Healthcare.

AILA Coalition partner, the Rights Working Group, is organizing a Night of 1,000 Conversations, to be held on June 19, 2008, to encourage community dialogue on inhumane detention conditions and DHS accountability.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 08051530.