Jamie Raskin

09/25/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/25/2020 07:52

Oversight Committee Releases Staff Report on For-Profit Contractors Operating Immigrant Detention Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, released a new staff report entitled, 'The Trump Administration's Mistreatment of Detained Immigrants: Deaths and Deficient Medical Care by For-Profit Detention Contractors.'

Chairwoman Maloney issued this statement on the staff report:

'The Committee's investigation shines a critical new light on the failures of the Administration's immigration detention system and the deaths of immigrants in custody. This staff report and the documents the Committee obtained explain how the Administration and its private prison contractors have let known problems fester into a full-blown crisis-a crisis that has become far worse during the coronavirus pandemic. This broken system needs fundamental reforms, including enhancing internal and external oversight, ending the use of private prison contractors, and significantly decreasing the number of immigrants detained in the first place-all choices the Administration could make right now.'

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Raskin issued this statement on the staff report:

'Amid chilling reports of forced hysterectomies at a Georgia immigration detention center, this report makes clear that the shocking mistreatment of immigrant detainees is far more pervasive than one doctor or one facility. An epidemic of medical neglect and mistreatment at detention centers has caused undue suffering and even death. These poor conditions and care constitute a real and present danger to tens of thousands of current detainees, with COVID-19 cases soaring to more than 6,000 cases at facilities nationwide. It is horrific that this Administration continues to shovel billions of dollars to private contractors who profit off the unnecessary suffering of immigrants. The Administration must heed calls to release non-violent immigrants to the community and to hold its contractors accountable for real medical care for those who remain in detention.'

Highlights from today's staff report include:

  • Several detainees died after receiving inadequate medical care, including issues that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and detention contractors had previously identified at the same detention facilities where these deaths occurred, set forth in a whistleblower complaint previously obtained by Buzzfeed News and in other documents obtained by the Committee;
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE have defied the law by refusing to release full investigative reports into detainee deaths, as required by federal law;
  • There have been widespread failures in medical care for detainees, including many identified in previously unreleased internal ICE and contractor documents;
  • For years, there have been numerous documented instances of poor sanitation and mismanagement of infectious diseases in immigration detention facilities, potentially contributing to the spread of coronavirus cases in ICE detention to more than 6,000 confirmed detainee cases to date; and
  • The Trump Administration continues to reward this poor performance with billions of dollars in contracts for private detention.

Last July, then-Chairman Elijah Cummings and Chairman Raskin launched the Committee's investigation by requesting a broad range of documents and information from ICE and its two largest detention contractors, CoreCivic and GEO Group, Inc.

The report contains findings from bipartisan Committee staff trips to detention facilities. Staff visited ten ICE facilities managed by contractors and two directly managed by ICE. Committee staff toured the facilities and interviewed facility leadership, staff, and detained immigrants when permitted to do so by facility officials. In some cases, conditions were so poor that Committee staff warned officials during their visits about deficiencies in the treatment of detainees.

Click here to read the staff report.

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