Congress Should Pass Legislation To Ensure Adequate Medical Care for Detained Immigrants, Editorial States
"Congress should swiftly pass" the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act, which would "impose more rigorous standards on the network of more than 300 publicly and privately run prisons" in the federal immigration detention system and "require that all deaths be reported" to the Department of Justice and Congress," a New York Times editorial states.
According to the editorial, the "government has a duty to provide decent, effective, timely medical care to people in custody," and recent news reports have "shone a harsh light on the immigration detention system, finding alarming evidence of shoddy care, inadequate staffing, lax standards, secrecy and chronic ineptitude." The "government should be rushing to improve the oversight and care" in the immigration detention system, but the "official reaction has been slow and defensive" and "promised improvements are piecemeal," the editorial states.
The editorial adds that, although the "criticism of the system is making immigration hard-liners indignant," the "poisoned debate over illegal immigration ... has no relevance here" because whether "immigrants are legal or illegal has nothing to do with their right to humane care" (New York Times, 6/11).