U.S. Should ‘Rethink’ Its Immigrant Detainee Policy To Ensure Adequate Health Care, Editorial Says
The "skyrocketing rate" of immigrants to the U.S. who are held in detention centers "is the result of an administration policy decision" to detain "all those who may be subject to deportation" and has led to "serious concerns about its ability to provide adequate care to this growing population because of staff shortages and budget shortfalls that inevitably lead to neglect or errors," a Washington Post editorial states.
According to the editorial, the "administration should rethink this policy," under which "there are roughly 33,000 detainees in custody" at any time, because detained immigrants do not receive adequate medical care. The editorial cites a four-part series published last week by the Post that found a number of "disturbing examples of neglect or incompetence." The editorial asks, "Does it really make sense to hold someone such as" a woman profiled in the series who might have recurrent cancer, "when, if released, she would undoubtedly return to her Florida home to be with her husband and seek care?"
The editorial states, "If the government determines that she must be deported, it's likely she would be easily found." In addition, the editorial states, "Funding for the beleaguered system also must be increased" because "continuing to underfund and understaff the medical care system for these detainees only increases the chances of unnecessary tragedy." The editorial concludes, "The law requires that those in U.S. custody be given adequate treatment. Simple decency demands no less" (Washington Post, 5/17).