* An article titled "Immigrants Facing Deportation by U.S. Hospitals" appeared in the magazine section of The New York Times on Sunday. By telling the story of Luis Alberto Jiménez, it documents the disastrous consequences that are the result of inherent failures in the American immigration and health care systems. Below is an excerpt from the article:
Many American hospitals are taking it upon themselves to repatriate seriously injured or ill immigrants because they cannot find nursing homes willing to accept them without insurance. Medicaid does not cover long-term care for illegal immigrants, or for newly arrived legal immigrants, creating a quandary for hospitals, which are obligated by federal regulation to arrange post-hospital care for patients who need it.
American immigration authorities play no role in these private repatriations, carried out by ambulance, air ambulance and commercial plane. Most hospitals say that they do not conduct cross-border transfers until patients are medically stable and that they arrange to deliver them into a physician's care in their homeland. But the hospitals are operating in a void, without governmental assistance or oversight, leaving ample room for legal and ethical transgressions on both sides of the border.
* Various ICE policies have been scrutinized in a number of news articles this week. A DMI Blog
posting discusses the ICE policy of neglecting to inform local police of its decision to conduct a raid in an area. This ICE policy is carried out completely inconsistently - sometimes ICE notifies local law enforcement, sometimes it does not. ICE conducted its recent raid in Sante Fe, New Mexico (where it took 30 undocumented immigrants into custody) without notifying Sante Fe Mayor Cross beforehand. According to the posting, Cross was completely opposed to the raid. He said:
"We know what the right thing to do is. We have political leadership that wants to keep us from doing [the right thing] because the division works for them. But it doesn't work for us. And most people know that."
ICE's notification policy is not its only inconsistent policy. According to the Associated Press
, ICE's distribution of border patrol agents is a completely political process. The article says that many people have suggested that ICE rewards friendly Congressmen with more border patrol agents in their district:
The 60-mile San Diego sector is at the southern end of a county with roughly 3 million people...The Huffington Post
But the sector is already heavily reinforced: Two-thirds of the border is blocked by fences or vehicle barriers. The most populous part of the boundary has nearly 10 miles of double-layer fences with stadium lights...
San Diego is represented by Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican who has been among the most outspoken proponents of increased border security and fences.
has also criticized ICE for supporting the discredited
Center for Immigration Studies report that says border patrol has been the main reason immigration to the U.S. has fallen. Many researchers have shown that the failing economy is the main reason immigration has been decreasing:
The US needs a practical, fair, and reasonable solution to immigration that includes smart enforcement measures. Political theater and gimmicks won't constrict the supply or demand for immigrant labor.
In addition, The Sanctuary
is reporting that the ACLU has obtained a copy of the manual that the government distributes to attorneys who defend those who are arrested in immigration raids:
The manual contains prepackaged scripts for plea and sentencing hearings as well as documents providing for guilty pleas and waivers of rights to be used by both the judges and attorneys in expediting procedures as quickly as possible with little regard for due process.
The ACLU has made the manual publicly available
* Postville update: Standing FIRM has linked to a Chicago Tribune story on the allegations of child labor law violations at the Agriprocessors plant. The government has finally begun cracking down on the company for the horrific abuse of its employees:
State officials say the types of child labor violations at the plant included minors working in prohibited occupations, exceeding allowable hours for youth to work, failure to obtain work permits, exposure to hazardous chemicals and working with prohibited tools.
* The National Center for Lesbian Rights
has become involved in a case involving a gay HIV-positive Pakistani man who is seeking asylum in the U.S. on the grounds that he will be persecuted if he returns to his country of origin. The Center filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff to the Board of Immigration Appeals:
Under Pakistani law, being gay is punishable by death and LGBT people are forced to live in secrecy and constant fear of exposure. The Immigration Judge ignored the serious risk of persecution that S.K. faces and denied his application for asylum.
* ABC News
has called attention to a recently released report on the human rights abuses that immigrants are subject to at detention centers run by private companies. The report, conducted by the human rights group OneAmerica
and the Seattle University School of Law, concludes that people held at these detention facilities, specifically one that GEO Group, Inc. runs, are routinely harassed, verbally and physically abused and subjected to poor to non-existent health care.
This is not the first time GEO has been accused of violating the rights of inmates in its care. In 2000, when the company was known as Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, the U.S. Department of Justice sued them over "excessive abuse and neglect" of inmates at the Jena Juvenile Justice Center in Jena, Louisiana.