Report: Serious Medical Neglect at Immigration Detention Center in Southern California

According to reporting from Voice of San Diego, a detainee at San Diego’s Otay Mesa Detention Center is alleging that he has been a victim of serious medical neglect within the facility. A representative for the unidentified asylum seeker has filed a complaint with the California medical board — arguing that her client is receiving negligent, neglectful treatment and that she has been improperly denied access to his medical records. 

Allegations of Medical Neglect: Improper Treatment of a Gunshot Wound to the Head

The asylum seeker in this case originally comes from Guatemala — a country that is dealing with serious problems with violence. Before fleeing his native country, he was shot in the head by members of a criminal gang. In an effort to escape from the extraordinarily dangerous situation, he made his way to the United States. Tragically, he is now being detained within the Otay Mesa Detention Center. His immigration lawyer alleges that he has received inadequate, dangerous medical care within the facility. Specifically, the asylum seeker alleges the following:

  • He is experiencing severe, traumatic headaches;
  • As a result of the gunshot wound, he bleeds sporadically out of both his ears and his eyes;
  • He has only been given ibuprofen to treat these serious medical conditions; 
  • No actual medical diagnosis has yet been made; and
  • He has been held in medical segregation —  or more accurately, solitary confinement — for more than five weeks. 

This is a heartbreaking situation. Migrants who have serious medical conditions should not be locked up in immigration detention facilities. They need access to medical care. Sadly, the lack of proper medical care remains a serious issue in federally run immigration facilities.   

Medical Neglect is a Huge Problem in ICE Detention Centers

Last year, a government watchdog found egregious violations in detention facilities. Among other things, this includes a lack of adequate medical care. In facility after facility, inspectors have found that detainees are simply not being provided with the high-quality, attentive medical care that they deserve as a basic human right. 

No families should be forced to deal with the horror of having a loved one die in ICE custody. Major, long-term reforms are needed to fix this problem. As an immediate step, the Trump Administration should stop detaining so many people. The overcrowding of immigration detention centers only serves to exacerbates the problem of substandard medical. Asylum seekers do not need to be detained while they await their hearing. It is dangerous, unnecessary, and cruel. 

Consult With Our Los Angeles, CA Immigration Law Attorney Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our top-rated California immigration lawyer is a passionate and effective advocate for immigrant rights. To arrange a strictly confidential initial immigration consultation, please do not hesitate to call us today. We represent clients in Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding region in Southern California, including in Thousand Oaks, Santa Clarita, Long Beach, Compton, Anaheim, Inglewood, and Beverly Hills.