Thursday, June 5, 2008

Your are not supposed to kill people in custody

link to photo
House Judiciary Subcommittee

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee. was interviewed in relation to a committee hearing on conditions of detention for immigrants told a Washington Post reporter that: "ICE was defending the indefensible...Whatever you think about the overall debate on are not supposed to kill people who are in custody."

During the hearing, Congressman King actually compared not dying while in custody with being given a Rolls Royce. Perhaps he thinks that the bar for the treatment of immigrants in custody is different than the rest of American society?

It reminds me of Barbara Bush's statement about the Katrina Refugees she saw at the Astrodome. "The former first lady toured the Astrodome Monday, and along the way she opined that many of the refugees from New Orleans were so poor to begin with that they ought to be pretty happy with their temporary digs in Houston" (from

Should we tell incarcerated immigrants that they are lucky to be in detention where they are fed and given a bed? I would bet that Barbara Bush and Peter King would think so.

Immigration Agency to Reveal Some Death Data
DHS Bureau Will Report the Number of People Who Die Awaiting Deportation

By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 5, 2008; A02

The top U.S. immigration enforcement official told a congressional subcommittee yesterday that the Bush administration will disclose more information about foreigners who die in the sprawling network of federal detention centers around the country...

Yesterday's hearing was partisan and testy. Myers said ICE has been working to improve the health-care system. But detainees, their lawyers and relatives, and advocates for immigrants offered graphic testimony about misdiagnoses, medical neglect and secrecy.

ICE officials "are defending the indefensible," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee. "Whatever you think about the overall debate on immigration," Lofgren said in an interview, "you are not supposed to kill people who are in custody."

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) countered, "Why should the American people be responsible for paying for Rolls-Royce medical care for illegal aliens?"

Myers and committee Republicans said that ICE figures show that the rate of deaths among detainees has fallen in recent years, and that fewer people die in immigration detention than in prison.

But one witness, who works in detention centers with foreigners seeking asylum in the United States, disputed ICE's claims, saying that health care in detention centers "is getting worse, not better." Homer Venters, a physician at the Bellevue-New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, said ICE's assertion that deaths among detainees fell by 49 percent between 2006 and 2007 is misleading...

for complete WP article click here

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