This summary about conditions at the Orange County jail was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.
New York City Council members and advocates voiced concerns about a lack of Covid-19 protocols, inadequate medical care and insufficient language services at the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen after a rare tour of the facility on Monday.
The latest development follows several months of advocates working to increase public awareness about the conditions at the immigration detention facility.
A thorough visit: Council Member Shahana Hanif, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Immigration, said the visit to the Orange County jail was “thorough,” and that the group was able to visit every section of the facility that they were hoping to see — including the kitchen and the dental and medical units. But she also noted that they were being “sold to want to like and want to accept this facility.”
Conflicting accounts: Officials at the Orange County jail told the group visiting that detainees receive two rewashable cloth masks. The Undersheriff and officials told the group visiting that when those detained request medical care, they can connect with medical professionals within minutes or hours – but individuals detained told advocates that this was not the case. A detained immigrant said it took seven days to get tested for Covid, and they were held in isolation in a cell for ten days.
Also Read: Activists at Bergen County Jail Protest Detainees Being Moved Out of State
“That’s not medical care, that’s not medical attention,” Council Member Hanif said. “The medical negligence is egregious, and it is profoundly unacceptable, it is disrespectful.”
New York City Council Member Shekar Krishnan, also present on the tour, condemned conditions at the facility. The group heard from many who were “sick, or suffering other ways, or injured — and not even being able to access care when they were in those instances,” Krishnan said. That included a person with diabetes who said they could not access insulin.
Immigration detention reform: The visit, Krishnan said, reinforced that the state should pass the Dignity Not Detention Act, which is currently in Senate and Assembly Committees. It would terminate all current and future contracts between ICE and immigration detentions in New York State.
“Detention is utterly broken, it cannot be reformed,” Krishnan said. “The only way to fix it is to end it, because no amount of finessing, accreditation or any language can really hide what is happening.”
Reporting and Writing by Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Documented’s Immigration Enforcement Reporter.
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Around the U.S.
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