Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report that reveals several immigrants’ deaths in US detention facilities due to “systematic” medical negligence. “New evidence has emerged of dangerously subpar medical care in US immigration detention centers that has caused preventable deaths,” the New York-based rights group said in the report published on Monday.
The 104-page report was released by HRW and Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) after confirmation of the death of seven detained immigrants from 18 preventable deaths between 2012 and 2015 due to flawed medical care in the US.
The report defined systematic failures as unreasonable delays in care and unqualified medical staff. “The data reveals that people in immigration detention died needlessly under the Obama administration, even with its attempts at reform,” said Grace Meng, a senior US researcher at HRW. “The Trump administration has already announced its intent to roll back key reforms while detaining even more immigrants, which would likely mean more people will die needless and preventable deaths.”
The report came as the administration of President Donald Trump is increasing the detention of undocumented immigrants in the US. The United States currently detains about 40,000 people a day, or more than 400,000 per year, at an annual cost of 2 billion dollars. Hundreds of immigrants at federal detention centers across the country have gone on hunger strikes in recent years, calling for improved conditions or to be released.