Immigration detention is a frightening prospect for people who are forced into the system. Unfortunately, this is something that seems to be very prevalent in this country now.
Recently, it was noted that all detainees at a privately-run facility in Colorado that is under contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be given at least one immunization for rubella, mumps and measles. This is occurring in a state that doesn’t have mandatory vaccinations for citizens. Some might question whether this is a legal practice at all since it is forcing detainees to undergo an invasive medical procedure that could potentially be a violation of their rights.
In that facility, there are 357 detainees who are being held in quarantine due to possible exposure to chickenpox, mumps, or both. Despite the high number of quarantined individuals, there have only been fewer than 10 confirmed cases of illness. This isn’t the only facility that is having issues with outbreaks of contagious diseases, which brings up the question of safety for detainees.
Another issue that is plaguing the system now has to do with children who are being held by ICE and the private companies contracting with the agency. One report notes that there is often chilling silence at facilities during times when children should be playing. This is being attributed to fear and anxiety that comes from some of the things that they are being told.
At one facility, mothers report that they are frightened to let their children play on the playground because staff members have told them that the mothers will be liable if the kids are hurt on the playground. Mothers are also reporting that the clinics at the facilities leave a lot to be desired. Even if you don’t count the emotional damage that being detained can do to these young children, you can’t discount the physical ailments that are often untreated.
People who have loved ones who are being detained should find out what options they have to help them. This can be a difficult process, but taking things one legal step at a time might help.