If Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers place a Kentucky immigrant in detention, it doesn’t mean he or she loses all access to the outside world. If you or your loved one is currently detained, you still have rights, one of which is to receive medical attention when you need it. There have been many stories in the news regarding inhumane condition in numerous detention facilities throughout the nation.
In fact, some incidents have resulted in fatalities when officials denied immigrants proper medical care. There are close to 50,000 immigrants in detention in the United States at this time. Immigration officials have quarantined more than 2,000 of them. The U.S. government reportedly approved the quarantines due to the immigrants involved supposedly contracting communicable diseases, such as mumps.
Legal issues regarding immigrant quarantines
If you are in detention and you request legal representation, immigration officials are not supposed to deny your request. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to have rights that the U.S. Constitution protects, such as the right for due process of law. An immigrant advocate concerned about the current quarantine situation says immigrants are not able to move forward with their cases.
The government is allowing quarantines for 25 days; thus, many immigrants are not able to go to their scheduled immigration court appointments. The quarantine is prolonging their detentions. Coupled with reported substandard medical care, the situation has placed many immigrants’ health, as well as their legal statuses, at risk.
ICE defends its actions
ICE officials at one detention facility say their swift action to quarantine immigrants with infectious diseases has prevented illness from spreading to epidemic levels throughout the facility and, possibly, the community at large. This particular facility currently houses approximately 1,200 immigrants, and more than 200 of them are in quarantine cells at this time.
An advocate speaking on the immigrants’ behalf said one of the biggest problems is that those in quarantine are having trouble accessing legal support. There was reportedly a situation in another state where important information regarding immigrants’ cases could not be provided to them because they had chicken pox and ICE officials quarantined them.
The U.S. Constitution protects everyone within its boundaries
Like all Kentucky immigrants, you and your loved ones can seek guidance and support if a particular legal problem arises that you are not able to resolve on your own. U.S. immigration law is complex, and the federal government changes its laws often. If you’re worried about a particular situation that places you at risk for deportation, or your loved one is currently quarantined, you can discuss the issue with someone well-versed in U.S. immigration law who can advocate on your behalf.