By C. Ross Tobaire
According to ICE.gov, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, ICE is “the largest investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Home-land Security. Formed in 2003 as part of the federal government’s response to the 9/11 attacks, ICE’s mission is to protect the security of the American people and homeland by vigilantly enforcing the nation’s immigration and customs laws. With more than 19,000 employees in over 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world, ICE plays a vital role in … protecting the nation…. [with] innovative investigative techniques.”
Reports from the New York Times and the ACLU suggest that ICE has been intentionally covering up evidence of mistreatment and death in order to avoid inquiry and embarrassment.
On January 9th the New York Times reported several troubling stories about what was occurring to people in these ICE facilities. For example, as one man lay dying of head injuries, ICE was busy at work, not figuring out how to get him medical assistance, but rather held conferences discussing whether the man should be released and sent to Africa in order to avoid publicity.
In another case, a 22-year-old-detainee was in severe pain due to a broken leg and, according to his family, denied his prescription pain killers. ICE medical records show that he was given Motrin…the only problem with ICE’s account is that by the time the medication was given, he was already dead…he committed suicide.