In Florida and throughout the country, immigration detention centers are filled to capacity. Some detainees are seeking asylum and are waiting for their cases to be processed. Others were taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. At least 400 immigrant detainees recently complained that officials in their facilities threatened them with isolation and other punishments in retaliation for making medical requests or complaining about certain other issues.
A committee that helped oversee the inspection of numerous immigrant detention centers later said that ICE fails to adhere to its own standards of confinement. Committee members say that the inspections showed that many of the facilities in question are substandard when it comes to cleanliness. They also indicated that immigrants in many facilities have problems getting access to legal support.
Detainee suffered anaphylactic shock four times
One recent inspection documented that a detainee in another state suffered an anaphylactic shock on four separate occasions. The incidents occurred over the span of four months and only after the fourth incident, did officials order blood tests, which determined that the man was allergic to peanuts. Another inspector who made a surprise visit to a different facility noted that detention officials failed to respond to approximately 300 sick calls.
Language barriers and fear deter detainees from getting help
Another problem that appears to be prevalent in many detention centers is that services are not being provided for detainees who have substantial language barriers. Many detainees also say that when they request medical support or file complaints about living conditions, guards threaten them with isolation and other retaliation, which makes them afraid to reach out for assistance when needed. Any Florida resident who is experiencing immigrant detention problems first hand or in connection with a spouse or other family member may request a meeting with an experienced immigration law attorney for support.