Immigrants: We Were Denied Vital Medical Care While in ICE Detention Center

Immigrants in ICE detention center. (photo: AP)
Immigrants in ICE detention center. (photo: AP)


Esther Yu-Hsi Lee | ThinkProgress |Reader Supported News | May 12, 2016

elson De Jesus Fernandez takes blood thinners to control Behcet’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues, resulting in damage to blood vessels and veins. But when Fernandez — who’s originally from the Dominican Republic — was placed in an immigrant detention center in Hudson County, New Jersey, he wasn’t given the right medication. The facility gave him an unknown drug that caused him to bleed internally for approximately three days before he was taken to a local hospital.

Fernandez wasn’t the only immigrant whose symptoms were neglected at the Hudson County Correctional Facility. Another detainee was denied ongoing care after an initial hospital appointment even though he was a cancer survivor. Yet another was denied physical therapy and additional surgery to repair an internal issue with his leg, which he broke before he was detained by immigration agents, because “the injury occurred prior to ICE custody.”

These are just a few of the five dozen immigrants held in at Hudson who received inadequate medical care, according to a complaint filed by the immigrant rights organizations Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) and First Friends of NJ NY.

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