How Many More Immigrants Have to Die in Detention?

By Jonathan Adams Aug 13, 2008

Hiu Lui Ng,34, a computer engineer with the Empire State Building, and a Queens resident with a wife and two sons died while being detained by the U.S. government. Arrested at his final interview for his green card, Ng had become a New Yorker since moving to the United States from Hong Kong in 1992. "He was swept into immigration detention and shuttled through jails and detention centers in three New England states." That was last summer. And due to the poor care immigrants receive in detention centers, Ng’s cancer went undiagnosed and he tragically died last week. Many have reported on the countless (literally, we don’t know how many people have died) number of immigrants who have died due to the negligence of these detention centers. The House Judiciary Committee wanted to probe into these deaths after the Washington Post did a series called, "Careless Detention," and Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) requested documents from as early as 2002 on the deaths of detained immigrants and on the medical and mental health care they received. Our elected officials have to vigorously pursue basic protections of people in the government’s custody. How many more immigrants have to die in these detention centers before it is a crime to neglect an ill person dying from lack of medical attention?