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House Oversight Committee Investigates ICE Detention Center Deaths

A House investigation found ICE detainees died after receiving inadequate medical care, and jail staff "falsified records to cover up" issues

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ICE detainees died after receiving inadequate medical care, and jail staff “falsified records to cover up” issues, the House Oversight Committee found in a report released on Thursday. The committee visited several for-profit immigration jails during the course of the investigation and reviewed 60,000 pages of records. They found Huy Chi Tran, a 47-year-old man who died in June 2018 at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona had been placed in solitary confinement.

“CoreCivic detention staff were supposed to check on Mr. Tran every 15 minutes, but the detention officer on duty left Mr. Tran unsupervised for 51 minutes just before Mr. Tran’s cardiac arrest that led to his death,” the report said. “Investigators found that the officer falsified observation logs to hide the fact that he had failed to conduct welfare checks over that 51-minute period.”

Congress also also investigated the death of Kamyar Samimi, a 64-year-old man who died in late 2017 at the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado. The report found staff at the facility run by private prison company GEO Group “failed to transfer Samimi to an ER even though he exhibited life-threatening withdrawal symptoms during the week following his intake.” Nurse staff were also reportedly not trained to understand opioid withdrawal symptoms. BuzzFeed News

In other federal immigration news…

Trump Administration Tries to Cap Student Visa Length

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing adding a specific end date to student visas when they are issued, tightening the current practice of allowing students to remain as long as their studies take. The proposal was posted on the Federal Register on Thursday. It would set most visas to expire after four years, even if a student is enrolled in a longer program or requires additional time to finish their degree. It would also limit the visa to two years to students born in several dozen Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries. The Trump administration argues this is necessary because students can remain in the U.S. as long as they have documents showing they are continuing to study toward their degree, which allegedly poses national security risks. The rule will undergo a 30-day comment period, but its enactment will depend on the result of November’s presidential election. The Wall Street Journal

Wolf Says Forced Hysterectomies to be Investigated

Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the department’s internal watchdog was investigating claims of improper hysterectomies at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia during a congressional hearing on Wednesday. Reuters

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