Monday, January 11, 2010

The Death of Boubacar Bah in U.S. Immigration Detention

"The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse." ~Nina Berstein, New York Times published 1-9-10

My Client has been held in at the Elizabeth, N.J. Detention Facility for approximately six months. The moment he was taken into ICE custody he advised the detaining officers that he has a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment.

The Detention Facility in Elizabeth has ignored his repeated requests for treatment, and continues to hold him despite an urgent medical need. As a result of the deprivation of medical care my client has been unable to assist in his own defense, thereby depriving him of his right to a fundamentally fair hearing. We filed a motion to terminate his case which was denied by the Immigration Judge.

We are scheduled for another hearing this week on the issue of political asylum. My client has no criminal convictions, and has established a preliminary fear of persecution, and yet he languishes in immigration custody without his medicine.

It is both shocking and disgusting that this type of barbarism is allowed to continue and is covered up by the very animals that hold the keys to the cages.

What has our country come to?

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