In autumn of 2020, many women came forward to protest medical procedures that were reportedly performed on them without their consent. All of the women were residents at the same immigration detention center in another state. Immigrant advocates in Florida and across the country have expressed concern that, even after federal investigations documented evidence of medical neglect, the privately owned detention center in question remains open for business, as do several others where officials are accused of similar issues.
Many immigrants have filed habeas corpus writs in federal court
Many immigrants have initiated legal claims citing punitive conditions and prolonged detentions in centers that immigrant advocates have implored local government officials to shut down. Nearly 500 such claims have been filed. To have their say in court, these immigrants have filed a writ of habeas corpus, which is a means requiring the government to produce the immigrant in court in order to determine if a detention is lawful. By the time an immigrant is able to process a claim to request release on the grounds of unlawful detention, he or she has sometimes already been detained for more than a year. Once the claim is filed, it typically takes six months or more to process.
One state reportedly has more prolonged detentions that most others
While concerns regarding substandard medical care and prolonged detentions are escalating throughout the country, such concerns appear to be greatest in Louisiana. Louisiana has reportedly detained more people in immigration detention centers than all other states, except Texas. Many immigrant advocates say the privately owned detention centers make three times more profit from their federal immigration contracts than they do for housing state inmates.
Immigrants have a right to expect proper medical treatment and safety
When an immigrant in Florida or elsewhere is placed in detention, he or she can expect to receive proper medical attention as needed. Immigration officials are also obligated to ensure a safe environment. If a person believes that he or she has been denied proper medical care or has suffered injury due to abuse in a detention facility, there are legal steps that can be taken to address the issues in court.