According to The Huffington Post, a detention center in Texas has come under scrutiny for controversial medical care or lack thereof. The news website states Karnes County Residential Center has been slow to grant a woman cancer treatment while other detainees are asking for mental health attention.
An immigrant from the Congo said she has cancer in her uterus but has yet to be seen by a doctor for treatment. The center is also reportedly experiencing a number of people battling suicidal thoughts, a revelation made known to Andrea Meza, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services’ (RAICES) director of family detention services. There’s also been a call from a few members of Congress plus RAICES that supports the closure of Karnes.
“We know prolonged detention, especially for people who are fleeing trauma and violence, leads to depression,” Meza said. “The idea of putting families and children into this situation is horrifying.” According to Buzzfeed News, as of May 2019, 52,398 migrants were being held in detention centers across the United States.
After ICE placed a request for “52,000 detention beds,” Congress mandated that its daily population couldn’t surpass a daily average of 45,000 by September’s year-end fiscal period. However, as Buzzfeed News notes, May’s daily tally landed at 46,873. “The fact that ICE has rather brazenly now exceeded 52,000 individuals in custody should raise red flags in Congress. This is a threat to Congress’s power of the purse,” said Sarah Pierce, one the Migration Policy Institute policy analysts.