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Access to Medical and Mental Health Care

Access to medical and mental health care is vital to detained immigrants of every age, background, and sexual orientation. Browse our advocacy work highlighting inadequate access to these services and demanding immediate oversight and action by the federal government.

Speak Out in Support of Alternatives to Detention

November 16, 2020

The punitive environment of detention can take a catastrophic toll on those in ICE custody. The pandemic has revealed more than ever before how dangerous immigration detention can be and the critical need for immediate change. Use our template Letter to the Editor (LTE) and sample social media posts to speak out for alternatives to detention (ATDs).
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Take Action: Ask Congress to End Medical Abuse Caused by Immigration Detention

October 14, 2020

Detained individuals report extreme delays in medical care and non-compliance with COVID-19 public health protocols, among many other problems. Email Congress to urge ICE to close the Irwin detention center due to these problems.
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Template Letter to the Editor (LTE) Regarding Medical Care in Detention

September 22, 2020

We encourage you to use our template to submit a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper. If you are working on a case and have examples of medical neglect in detention, please include those examples where indicated. Please only share case examples with the consent of your client, and do not include your client's name or any identifying details.
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Letter to ICE and EOIR Regarding Remote Legal Access and Representation During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2020

More than 100 organizations urged EOIR and ICE to immediately authorize the robust and automatic use of remote options for immigration court appearances and attorney-client meetings.
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El Paso Immigration Collaborative (EPIC) Statement Regarding COVID-19

March 17, 2020

On March 17, 2020, the El Paso Immigration Collaborative (EPIC) sent a letter to the ICE Field Office Director highlighting public health concerns related to COVID-19 for individuals in ICE Custody in El Paso, the need for the immediate release of individuals who are at high risk, and recommending steps to mitigate the crisis for this population.
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Take Action: Join Our Call for Oversight of CBP Facilities

September 5, 2019

Urge Congress to implement oversight mechanisms to improve access to medical services for individuals held in CBP custody, and to demand increased reliance on alternatives to detention. Make your voice heard today
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Complaint Demands Oversight of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Facilities

September 4, 2019

On September 4, 2019, AILA and the American Immigration Council filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, DHS Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) highlighting a systematic failure to provide adequate medical care to children in CBP custody.
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#NoBabiesBehindBars Campaign on Behalf of Detained Infants Goes Viral

February 28, 2019

Our complaint demanding the immediate release of infants under the age of 1 detained in Dilley was immediately picked up by news outlets across the country including CBS, HuffPost, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian. Hillary Clinton then tweeted out the CBS coverage to her 24.2 million followers. Senators Jeff Merkley, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and others spoke out. As of March 4, 2019, 15 of the 16 detained babies have been released with their mothers.
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Complaint Urges Immediate Release of Infants from Detention

February 28, 2019

On February 28, 2019, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) calling for the immediate release of numerous babies under the age of 1 - and some as young as six months old - detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. The complaint highlights concerns over the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable population, and cites long-documented limited access to adequate medical and mental health care in family detention centers.
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Congressional Letter Calls for the Immediate Release of Family Detained in Dilley, Texas

January 10, 2019

On January 10th, 2019, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Mazie Hirono, and Representative Judy Chu wrote a letter to the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ronald D. Vitiello, calling for the immediate release of Cristy and her mother, an asylum-seeking family facing prolonged detention at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
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Complaint Filed with DHS Oversight Bodies Calls for Improvements to Medical and Mental Health Care of Immigrants in Aurora Detention Center

June 04, 2018

AILA and American Immigration Council released a press release on their complaint, filed 6/4/18, regarding inadequate access to medical and mental health care for immigrants detained at the Denver Contract Detention Facility, which is owned and operated by the private prison company Geo Group, Inc.
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Complaint Demands Investigation Into Inadequate Medical and Mental Health Care Condition in Immigration Detention Center

June 04, 2018

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an administrative complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and ICE Health Service Corps, demanding immediate investigation into the woefully inadequate medical and mental health care provided at the Denver Contract Detention Center in Aurora, Colorado.
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Civil and Human Rights Organizations File Joint Complaint Against DHS on Behalf of Pregnant Women Detained by ICE

September 26, 2017

AILA joined six other organizations filing a joint complaint today concerning ICE’s treatment of pregnant women in detention, highlighting inhumane conditions, inadequate medical care and failure to implement agency policy limiting the detention of pregnant women.
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