Fed Memo Published By BuzzFeed Includes Complaints About Arizona Detention Facilities

Published: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 5:44pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 9:07am
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A government memo published by the news outlet BuzzFeed lays bare allegations that Immigration and Customs Enforcement systematically gave migrants in detention bad health care, and more than a third of the incidents described in the document took place in Arizona.

The memo sent in March reveals complaints made by a whistleblower inside ICE’s Health Service Corps. The complaints include several incidents at a services processing center in Florence and contract facility in Eloy, where one detainee reportedly mutilated his genitals after a facility psychiatrist allegedly failed to give treatment, despite warnings from staff.

The man is now out of detention, his bid to stay in the U.S. continues, and he’s a client of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, said legal director Laura St. John.

“Fairly consistently over the years we have seen complaints, or heard our clients complain, about medical neglect in the facilities,” she said.

ICE said it takes the health, safety and welfare of detainees very seriously, the agency is committed to holding people in humane settings, and there’s a multilayered inspections program to make sure facilities meet standards of care.

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