What would we do without Nina Bernstein? She has published another fantastic article on the announced closing of the Varick Federal Detention Facility in Greenwich Village.
Not surprisingly, there are more problems being reported relating to the medical neglect of immigrants being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The article points out that many of the detainees in Varick will be moved to New Jersey, presumably to the Elizabeth Immigration Gulag. Not exactly a viable solution to an already out of control problem.
The Times has compiled a list of jails and detention centers
where ICE detains individuals who
may be subject to removal from the United States. The interactive list includes
the results of annual inspections of facilities where ICE: "holds, or has held, noncitizens the government wants to deport,
including asylum-seekers, people suspected of being in the country
illegally and legal immigrants convicted of a wide range of crimes or
The list rates both the Varick facility and the Elizabeth, N.J. facility as being "Good", which is very telling as to the reliability of the inspections, because as repeatedly illustrated by the New York Times, and my reports on this Blog, both facilities are substandard at best.
Bravo Nina for your tireless efforts to expose the injustices that are a hallmark of the immigration detention system!
See the NYCLU report entitled: Voices from Varick: Detainee Grievances at New York City’s Only Federal Immigration Detention Facility (2010)
The NYCLU summarizes the report to include the following key findings:
- There were 210 grievances filed by 176 different detainees, representing 186 unique complaints regarding the conditions of confinement at Varick.
- Of the 210 grievances, 21 percent appear to have resulted in no resolution.
- Thirteen grievances went before the Detainee Grievance Committee (DGC).
- In seven of the 13 grievances (54 percent) that went before the DGC, the aggrieved detainee rejected the proposed resolution of the complaint. In three cases, the aggrieved detainee concurred with the outcome. And in three others, there is no indication of whether resolution was accepted or rejected.
- In four of the seven DGC grievances (57 percent) where the detainee objected to the committee’s findings, the detainee who filed the grievance was transferred out of the facility. Once a detainee is transferred or deported, Varick ceases to investigate his grievances.
- Seventy-one of the grievances complained of inadequate medical care (34 percent). Grievances involving a complaint of abusive treatment by staff were the second most common, consisting of 52 total grievances (25 percent). The third most common type of grievance concerned diet and consisted of 27 grievances (13 percent).