Internal documents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement reveal that recent deaths of detainees in ICE custody were preventable, according to The Young Turks, which obtained the documentation.
Then-Acting Deputy Director of ICE Matthew Albence — who came under fire last year for comparing ICE detention centers to “summer camps” — was informed in December 2018 that “[ICE’s Health Services Corps] is severely dysfunctional and unfortunately preventable harm and death to detainees has occurred,” according to a memo with the subject line “Urgent Matter”.
TYT reported that a supervisor at IHSC wrote the memo, which “details over a dozen cases in which ICE allegedly failed to provide its detainees with proper medical care, including two which resulted in fatalities.”
After listing off several cases of what the supervisor characterized as preventable suicides, lack of treatment for alcohol or drug withdrawal, and failure to adequately contain tuberculosis, the memo states: “Many detainees have encountered preventable harm and death. IHSC leadership is not focused on preventing horrible recurrences.”
On ICE official told TYT the problem is “systemic,” speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Others have come forward publicly, including former policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security Ellen Gallagher. In May, Gallagher spoke with NBC News to shed light on ICE’s use of solitary confinement, which she said agency officials used to “brutalize” detainees for minor infractions.