These Civil Rights Groups Are Suing ICE For Conditions Of Its Detention Facilities

Suit claims centers are not providing the legal requirement of care.

Photo Credit: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

| August 19 2019,

7:02 pm

Multiple civil rights organizations filed a class-action lawsuit against Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on Monday, surrounding the medical and mental health care provided at migrant detention centers.

The suit was brought by The Southern Poverty Law Center, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and Disability Rights Advocates, working with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP at the U.S District Court for the Central District of California.

It claims the centers failed to meet standards for disabled detainees, outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and also says the centers were in violation of the Fifth Amendment by using detention to punish immigrants.

The claims note various circumstances such as one where a diabetic man says he was given an overdose of insulin and never evaluated by a doctor afterward. In a separate claim, another plaintiff says he suffered a back injury and cannot walk without assistance, but has not been given physical therapy, in addition, a man claims he lost eyesight in his left eye after not receiving surgery recommended by a doctor at the facility.

Graybill explained in her statement the goal from the courts stepping in would be to end immigrant suffering at the hands of the U.S. government. 

An ICE official disputed the claims in the lawsuit, telling the Hill "comprehensive medical care" is provided to all detainees.