Stop Alleged Medical Neglect at Immigration Detention Centers

Target: Thomas D. Homan, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Goal: Investigate allegations of withheld medical treatment at United States immigration centers which may have resulted in the deaths of several detainees.

Two detainees at Adelanto Detention Center in the high desert of southern California died within weeks of each other, prompting concerns regarding the treatment of undocumented immigrants at the facility. The first man died days after his attempted suicide, after spending three months at the center following his arrest. The second man died at a regional hospital due to internal bleeding likely caused by his severe liver disease.

These two cases are only the most recent examples. Human Rights Watch reports that since 2012, at least 18 immigrants have died in detention centers operated through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. In at least seven of these cases, early medical intervention may have prevented these deaths, leading to suspicions of widespread sub-par care and neglect.

At Adelanto Detention Center, California’s biggest immigration facility, medical abuse and neglect was found to be the top complaint among detainees who were questioned by members of an immigrant advocacy group called Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC). A number of immigrants claimed to have developed severe health problems since their arrest due to stress, poor nutrition and inadequate medical care.

More must be done to take these allegations seriously and to investigate what is happening behind closed doors at these detention centers. While many of the ICE detainees have criminal records, the United States has a moral imperative to ensure that basic humane care is given to everyone held in custody while they await release or deportation.

Sign this petition to demand that the acting director of ICE work to improve conditions for all undocumented immigrants at these detention centers.


Dear Mr. Homan,

ICE detention centers have an obligation to ensure that basic medical needs are met for all detainees held in custody. At California’s largest immigration facility, Adelanto Detention Center, two men recently died within three weeks of each other following medical and mental health crises. In total, Human Rights Watch has reported that 18 detainees have died at detention centers since 2012, many due to preventable causes.

The fact that undocumented immigrants, regardless of criminal status, deserve basic medical care should not be an issue up for debate. We, the undersigned, demand that all allegations of medical abuse be investigated, and any ICE officials who failed to provide necessary medical care be fired and severely punished if found guilty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    Immigrants are Actually People Too, and it’s Long Past Time they were Treated as Such!!! Provide them with the Medical Care they Deserve NOW!!

  2. The deaths of these people MUST be investigated. Treating detainees as second-class people or neglecting their health problems is unacceptable and inexcusable. There must be transparency with this issue.

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