Things That Matter

Daughter Sues ICE After They Denied Father Cirrhosis And Diabetes Medication While In Detention Resulting In His Death

The U.S government is responsible for a growing number of undocumented adults and children dying in their custody. The reoccurring story of an undocumented person dying days or weeks after arriving in the U.S. shouldn’t be normalized. The startling factor is not just the recent deaths, but deaths of undocumented people that date back to 2017, wherein injustice and inhumane acts occurred at the hands of U.S. government agencies without the public knowing about it.

A lawsuit claims that ICE officials are responsible for the death of 43-year-old Carlos Bonilla who died while detained in Hudson County.

Credit: @aeis17 / Twitter

On April 1, 2017, Bonilla was detained in Long Island on a construction site. Bonilla and his brother owned a construction company and had lived in the U.S. for 25 years. He is originally from El Salvador.

When he entered the ICE Hudson County Correctional Facility, his family informed officials of Bonilla’s medical conditions. According to news reports, Bonilla had cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease, and diabetes. He was taking medication for both illnesses, but the family alleges that officials did not give him his medication while in detention.

“Mr. Bonilla died from complications of cirrhosis, a treatable condition (the defendants) knew about — but failed to evaluate and treat — despite their knowledge and Mr. Bonilla’s repeated requests for medical attention,” the lawsuit states, NJ.com reports.

Bonilla, a father to four children, began showing symptoms of complications two weeks after being admitted to the ICE facility.

Credit: @documentedny / Twitter

The lawsuit states that medical officials tended to Bonilla on various dates from April 25 to June 7. Despite the medical attention, the lawsuit alleges that Bonilla was denied his medication, which resulted in days of distress, pain, and loss of blood. On the day of his death, Bonilla bled to death, the lawsuit states.

“While Bonilla was leaving his cell for his bond hearing on June 8, Hudson County Correctional Center allegedly called an emergency code at 4:38 a.m. after he started slurring his speech, stumbling to the floor, and reporting dizziness and diarrhea. He was transferred to Jersey City Medical Center about two hours later, where he was determined to have ‘blood in his stool, blood clots in his esophagus, abdominal pain’ along with ‘weakness’ and ‘dizziness,'” the Daily Beast reports.

“This unfortunate tragedy has resulted in many reforms at HCCC when it comes to the quality of care provided to inmates and detainees at the facility,” Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea said to NJ.com. “Particularly, now the director of corrections does not wait for pre-approval from ICE before sending detainees out to hospitals for procedures.”

READ: The Situation At The Border Is Worse Than Ever, And Children Are The Real Victims

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

As recently as last month more than 5,000 children languished in jail-like conditions inside U.S. Border Patrol facilities, often for longer than the 72-hour limit set by federal law. But, according to the Biden administration, that number has dropped by 84% as the agencies charged with migrant detention make significant progress.

Questions remain, however, about where these children are being sent to instead and why there remains a need for jail-like conditions in the first place.

The number of kids in jail-like Border Patrol facilities drops 84% compared to March.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children held in jail-like conditions by US Customs and Border Protection dropped nearly 84% in the span of a month, according to a White House official. As of last Wednesday, there were 954 children in CBP facilities, down from a peak of 5,767 on March 28, the official told CNN.

The average time that kids are in CBP custody is now 28 hours, compared to 133 hours on March 28, the official said, a nearly 80% reduction in time spent in Border Patrol detention.

In an interview with NBC News this week, Biden suggested that the situation with unaccompanied children is now under control, saying, “It’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control,” and touted “significant change in the circumstances for children to and at the border.”

In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the care of migrant children, has opened up a string of temporary shelters to accommodate minors. That’s allowed for an increasing number of children being transferred out of border facilities to spaces equipped to care for them at a quicker pace.

The drop in children in custody is a welcome sign given the conditions they faced.

In some cases, children were alternating schedules to make space for one another in confined facilities and taking turns showering, often going days without one, while others hadn’t seen the sunlight in days.

While the administration works to address root causes of migration, it’s also had to contend with growing numbers of children in government custody. As of April 27, there were more than 22,276 children in HHS care, according to government data.

Biden on NBC again warned Central American parents against sending children to the US.”Do not send your kids, period. They’re most — they’re in jeopardy going– making that thousand-mile trek,” Biden said. “And so what we’re doing now is we’re going back to those countries in question where most of it’s coming from and saying, ‘Look, you can apply from your country. You don’t have to make this trek.”

The shift in strategy comes as a new poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support new immigration policy.

A vast majority of Americans approve of the idea of engaging countries abroad to address the causes of migration before it happens, according to a new nationwide poll released Thursday.

Pollster Civiqs found that 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that the United States needs to engage with other countries to address migration patterns.

On a partisan basis, 86 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans, as well as 81 percent of independents, agree with that approach, according to Civiqs, which conducted the poll for Immigration Hub, a progressive immigration advocacy group.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans accept illegal immigration when the immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries.

That support is lower for undocumented immigrants who come for other reasons; 46 percent agree with immigrants arriving illegally to escape poverty or hunger, while 36 percent do if the migrants are seeking to reunite with family members, and 31 percent do if the migrants are looking for jobs in the United States.

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