Long before the recent U.S. crackdown on asylum seekers and immigrants, PHR highlighted the challenge of providing quality health care to detainees in the U.S. detention system. Health professionals in these settings face difficult choices between serving their patients’ needs and serving the U.S. government’s goal of controlling and ultimately deporting undocumented immigrants.
More than 100 detainees have died in immigration detention since 2003, and thousands of others have been denied medicine, screening procedures, therapy, and other care. Others have been denied the right to refuse treatment, or have been administered strong psychotropic drugs in order to be deported unconscious. Still others have suffered physical and mental harm in solitary confinement.
With the current crisis at the U.S border, PHR is working with partners to investigate, document and end the severe health consequences of family separation policies, discrimination in health care in border areas, and the impact of border enforcement on health services.