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Case raises concerns about medical care in detention centers

Many immigrants living in the Chicago area no doubt have fears that if their documentation is not in order, they may face the prospect of an immigration detention. For those who have relatives or close friends with a pending immigration case, this may be an all-too-familiar daily reality.

After all, deportation can mean that a person will be removed from the United States suddenly, even if that person has spent years building a life in this country. Particularly for those undocumented people who were brought to this country in their childhood by their families, the United States may be the only home that they know.

Illinois residents should remember, though, that the first step in the deportation process involves taking the accused into custody and placing him in a detention center for immigrants who are in the country illegally. In many cases, these centers operate similar to jails or prisons. This means that the immigrant is at the mercy of the facility custodians to provide food, medical care and whatever else is needed to survive.

When the federal authorities that run these centers do not do this, the results can be catastrophic. For example, a woman in another state has sued after her son died while he was being detained in an immigration center. According to a government investigation, the medical staff did not meet basic standards of professional care when treating the inmate.

Although the woman has sued the government for money on account of her son's death, it will be difficult for her to get full compensation simply because of the laws in place that will limit her recovery sharply. Through this tragedy, perhaps people in Illinois and elsewhere will realize that when a person is detained it may be best and even essential for the family to mount a prompt and effective deportation defense.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Exclusive: Report blames detainee's death on immigration center's medical staff," Feb. 24, 2014

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
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Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions