Solitary Watch’s Valerie Kiebala reports
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) published an article highlighting the impending danger posed by severe negligence at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, where deaths caused by indifference to medical conditions have been documented from before the COVID-19 outbreak. Roger Rayson, a 47-year-old from Jamaica, was the first immigrant to die in ICE custody under Trump in 2017. Instead of receiving medical care for his advanced cancer and despite his reports of “constant, knife-like pain,” Rayson was placed in solitary for nine days at the LaSalle Processing Center in Louisiana, during which he never once saw a doctor and his condition brutally worsened. Two ICE facilities—the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey and the LaSalle facility—each saw a death due to negligence prior to the pandemic and both now suffer from an outbreak of the virus. Hudson County has been locking people down for “almost 24 hours a day since March 22,” but four employees have already died from the virus. According to ICE, as of April 27, 425 detained immigrants have tested positive for the virus, but the true number is most certainly higher, since only 705 people have been tested of the 30,700 people in ICE detention.