Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse.
Now we are told that ICE agents grab mentally ill immigrants right from mental hospitals, ship them off to a Texas detention center without word to family or counsel, and deport them. Could ICE’s behavior be any more horrific?
The latest ICE outrage against immigrants has been released in a study conducted by Texas Appleseed, a public interest law center, and Akin Gump, a corporate law firm, and documents ICE’s mistreatment of mentally ill immigrants at every stage of the deportation process. http://nyti.ms/atZYsB.
The report is just the latest in a stream of countless stories of neglect, abuse, and deaths of detainees in ICE detention. Some tales fit neatly into the annals of the world’s most oppressive regimes, including the plight of Boubacar Bah, who, after mysteriously suffering a skull fracture, was handcuffed by ICE officials while writhing in agony in his own vomit on the floor of a New Jersey detention center, then locked-up in an isolation cell for 13 hours without medical treatment and, finally, transported to a hospital in a coma where he later died, (See Secret Horror Stories: ICE Officials Hid The Truth About Immigrant Deaths In Detention http://bit.ly/4tdHDt).
Several months ago homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE assistant secretary John Morton announced a review of the ICE detention operations with the stated goal of creating a “truly civil” detention system. But in light of the continuing reports of deaths, abuse, neglect, cover-ups, and other corruption, it is beyond dispute that the ICE detention system is a national disgrace. DHS should not tolerate even a single case of abuse or neglect of a person in ICE detention. The poor treatment of the mentally ill should also be viewed in light of the recent March 27 Washington Post article revealing dissension at top levels of ICE management. Napolitano and Morton are now suffering from a credibility gap. They must demonstrate clear and forceful leadership if they want to succeed in implementing the priorities and reforms they announced months ago on enforcement. All Americans are entitled to be secure in the knowledge that individuals detained by ICE will be treated humanely, and in accordance with applicable detention standards.