Friday, June 20, 2008

"These are lives we're talking about … Human beings"




"Death By Detention"- Breakthrough Video


In the wake of numerous press reports detailing the deaths of 83 people in ICE custody since its inception five years ago, countless cases of sick or mentally ill detainees denied even the most basic care they require, the illegal detention of legal residents and citizens, expedited criminal hearings of those apprehended in raids without providing basic legal representation or judicial review, and the illegal drugging of both detainees and deportees, there have been growing calls for the reform of the immigration detention system.

Last week Sen. Robert Menendez(D-FL) took to the Senate floor to deliver a scathing indictment of ICE, the DHS, and the entire immigration detention system, promising to introduce legislation to protect legal residents and citizens from unlawful detention. This comes on the heels of legislation to guarantee basic heath care for all detainees introduced early this month in both the House and Senate.

House Bill, H.R. 5950, the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008, introduced by California Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and its Senate counter-part, S. 3005, introduced by Menendez, are both simple, straight-forward, one page bills, that guarantee that those held on immigration charges receive the most basic medical care everyone held in government custody deserves as a matter of human rights.

But that hasn't stopped anti-immigrant zealots from complaining that detainees should not receive the basic medical care that all civilized nations provide prisoners no matter what the charge.


At a House Immigration Subcommittee hearing earlier this month, ranking Republican Steve King (R-IA), complained: “Why should the American people be responsible for paying for Rolls-Royce medical care for illegal aliens?” (NYT 6-11-08)

So what exactly, does is this "Rolls-Royce" treatment entail?

HR 5950 IH

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5950

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in custody, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 1, 2008

Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in custody, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008'.

SEC. 2. MEDICAL CARE STANDARDS FOR IMMIGRATION DETAINEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

(a) In General- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security. Such procedures shall address all immigration detainee health needs, including primary care, emergency care, chronic care, prenatal care, dental care, eye care, mental health care, medical dietary needs, and other medically necessary specialized care.

(b) Medical Screenings and Examinations- The Secretary's procedures shall be designed to ensure continuity of medical and mental health care services for each immigration detainee upon arrival at a detention facility. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that--

(1) each immigration detainee receives a comprehensive medical and mental health intake screening by a qualified health care professional upon arrival at the facility;

(2) each immigration detainee receives a comprehensive medical and mental health examination and assessment by a qualified health care professional not later than 14 days after arrival;

(3) each immigration detainee taking prescribed medications prior to detention is allowed to continue taking such medications, on schedule and without interruption, until and unless a qualified health care professional examines the immigration detainee and decides upon an alternative course of treatment; and

(4) subject to the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))), each immigration detainee with a serious medical or mental health care condition is given priority consideration for release on parole, on bond, or into an alternative to detention program, with periodic reevaluations for such immigration detainees not initially released.


(c) Continuity of Care- The Secretary's procedures shall be designed to ensure continuity of medical and mental health care services for each immigration detainee throughout detention. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that--

(1) immigration detainees are informed of available medical and mental health care services and how to request such services;

(2) a prompt response is provided to any request for medical or mental health care;

(3) treatment decisions are based solely on professional clinical judgments;

(4) prescribed medications and medically necessary treatment are provided to immigration detainees on schedule and without interruption; and

(5) the medical and mental health of an immigration detainee is considered prior to any decision to transfer the immigration detainee to another detention facility, and such immigration detainee suffers no interruption in the provision of medical treatment, including the delivery of prescribed medications, during and after such transfer.

(d) Medical Records- The Secretary's procedures shall be designed to ensure the availability of medical records to appropriate personnel. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that--

(1) immediately upon an immigration detainee's transfer from one detention facility to another, the immigration detainee's complete medical records, including any transfer summary, are provided to the receiving facility;

(2) within 72 hours of receiving a written request, an immigration detainee's complete medical records are provided to the immigration detainee or any person designated by the immigration detainee; and

(3) an immigration detainee shall be provided the appropriate forms where necessary to comply with this subsection and relevant privacy laws.

(e) Administrative Appeals Process- The Secretary's procedures shall include an administrative appeals process for denials of medical or mental health care. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that--

(1) the Secretary responds promptly to any request by an on-site medical provider for authorization to provide medical or mental health care to an immigration detainee;

(2) in each case in which the Secretary denies or fails to grant such a request, a written explanation of the reasons for the decision shall be conveyed without delay to the on-site medical provider and the immigration detainee;

(3) the on-site medical provider and immigration detainee (or legally appointed advocate) are provided an opportunity to appeal the denial of or failure to grant the requested health care service; and

(4) such appeal is resolved in writing within 30 days by an impartial board, which shall include health care professionals in the fields relevant to the request for medical or mental health care, and the written decision is conveyed without delay to the on-site medical provider and the immigration detainee.

(f) Discharge Planning- The Secretary's procedures shall include discharge planning to ensure continuity of care, for a reasonable period of time, upon removal or release for persons with serious medical or mental health conditions.

(g) Reporting Requirements- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall report to the Offices of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, within 48 hours, information regarding the death of any immigration detainee in the Secretary's custody. Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives containing detailed information regarding the death of all immigration detainees in the Secretary's custody during the preceding fiscal year.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act--

(1) `detention facility' means any Federal, State, or local facility used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to hold immigration detainees for more than 72 hours, regardless of whether use of such facility is subject to a contract or other agreement.

(2) `immigration detainee' means any person in the custody of the Secretary of Homeland Security under the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) at any detention facility.


So basically Lofgren and Menendez are asking DHS to provide a medical exam for those they detain, treatment for any illnesses, and that those already on medications for existing conditions be allowed to continue treatment while detained. …hardly what most would call the "Rolls-Royce" treatment … In fact the failure to provide these basic services would be viewed by most Americans as a human rights violation if occurring in other nations.

Right now both bills a have been referred to their respective Judiciary Committees.

You can help assure that detainees receive the basic medical care they are entitled to by contacting the Judiciary Committees and asking them to take up the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008

SENATE


United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Democratic Phone: (202) 224-7703
Democratic Fax: (202) 224-9516

Republican Phone: (202) 224-5225
Republican Fax: (202) 224-9102

Or:

Contact individual committee members:

Patrick J. Leahy
CHAIRMAN, D-VERMONT

Edward M. Kennedy
D-MASSACHUSETTS

Arlen Specter
RANKING MEMBER, R-PENNSYLVANIA
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
D-DELAWARE

Orrin G. Hatch
R-UTAH
Herb Kohl
D-WISCONSIN

Charles E. Grassley
R-IOWA
Dianne Feinstein
D-CALIFORNIA

Jon Kyl
R-ARIZONA
Russell D. Feingold
D-WISCONSIN

Jeff Sessions
R-ALABAMA
Charles E. Schumer
D-NEW YORK

Lindsey Graham
R-SOUTH CAROLINA
Richard J. Durbin
D-ILLINOIS

John Cornyn
R-TEXAS
Benjamin L. Cardin
D-MARYLAND

Sam Brownback
R-KANSAS
Sheldon Whitehouse
D-RHODE ISLAND

Tom Coburn
R-OKLAHOMA



HOUSE


2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202)-225-3951

E-mail House Judiciary Committee

House Judiciary Committee Contact individual committee members

Democrat
Hon. John Conyers, Jr.
(D) Michigan, 14th

Hon. Berman
(D) California, 28th

Hon. Boucher
(D) Virginia, 9th

Hon. Nadler
(D) New York, 8th

Hon. Scott
(D) Virginia, 3rd

Hon. Watt
(D) North Carolina, 12th

Hon. Lofgren
(D) California, 16th

Hon. Jackson Lee
(D) Texas, 18th

Hon. Waters
(D) California, 35th

Hon. Delahunt
(D) Massachusetts, 10th

Hon. Wexler
(D) Florida, 19th

Hon. Sánchez
(D) California, 39th

Hon. Cohen
(D) Tennessee, 9th

Hon. Johnson
(D) Georgia, 4th

Hon. Sutton
(D) Ohio, 13th

Hon. Gutierrez
(D) Illinois, 4th

Hon. Sherman
(D) California, 27

Hon. Baldwin
(D) Wisconsin, 2nd

Hon. Weiner
(D) New York, 9th

Hon. Schiff
(D) California, 29th

Hon. Davis
(D) Alabama , 7th

Hon. Wasserman Schultz
(D) Florida, 20th

Hon. Ellison
(D) Minnesota, 5th


Republican

Hon. Lamar S. Smith
(R) Texas, 21st

Hon. Sensenbrenner Jr.
(R) Wisconsin, 5th

Hon. Coble
(R) North Carolina, 6th

Hon. Gallegly
(R) California, 24th

Hon. Goodlatte
(R) Virginia, 6th

Hon. Chabot
(R) Ohio, 1st

Hon. Lungren
(R) California, 3rd

Hon. Cannon
(R) Utah, 3rd

Hon. Keller
(R) Florida, 8th

Hon. Issa
(R) California, 49th

Hon. Pence
(R) Indiana, 6th

Hon. Forbes
(R) Virginia, 4th

Hon. King
(R) Iowa, 5th

Hon. Feeney
(R) Florida, 24th

Hon. Franks
(R) Arizona, 2nd

Hon. Gohmert
(R) Texas, 1st

Hon. Jordan
(R) Ohio, 4th


2 comments:

Lenin said...

"Death By Detention"- Breakthrough Video
In the wake of numerous press reports detailing the deaths of 83 people in ICE custody since its inception five years ago..
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Lenin
Texas Alcohol Addiction Treatment

alesian said...

I saw in most news papers and TV channels more than 80 people are died in the Custody,because of their illness in the custody and long standing in the custody.Government must take some action to avoid these kind of incidents.
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alesianlarken

Wisconsin Alcohol Addiction Treatment