September 21, 2020

Virtual Forum on ICE Detention Facilities Featuring Dr. Scott Allen

WASHINGTON – Today at 1:00pm, the House Committee on Homeland Security held a virtual forum to discuss the conditions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, including the findings of a year-long majority staff report documenting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE oversight failures and facility deficiencies. The forum featured several panelists, including Dr. Scott Allen, a medical expert in detention health and whistleblower represented by Government Accountability Project. Dr. Allen remarked on the systemic issues that permeate the facilities, including access to medical care, misuse of segregation, and access to translation services.

Dana Gold, Government Accountability Project’s Senior Counsel and attorney for DHS whistleblowers commented:

“This report documenting widespread failures of ICE detention facilities to meet basic standards of care validates the concerns raised by Government Accountability Project’s DHS whistleblower clients for more than two years. Drs. Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson warned of the foreseeable harm to children in detention (beyond the known harms of child detention) because of inadequate providers and translation; attorney Ellen Gallagher warned of ICE’s widespread inappropriate use of solitary confinement on medically vulnerable and mentally ill immigrant detainees; Drs. Scott Allen and Josiah Rich warned of the risk to immigrants, workers, and the public from the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention; and anonymous whistleblowers at the Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana, followed last week by nurse Dawn Wooten at the Irwin County Detention Center, have exposed through graphic examples the knowing disregard of medical standards and regulations by  ICE and its contractors that have resulted in harm to immigrants in detention. As the committee found, DHS has failed to hold ICE and its contractors accountable for documented failures to meet basic standards of care. Action needs to be taken immediately to ensure the immigrants in ICE detention are not subject to further harm because of ICE and its contractors’ failures to protect them.”

Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 457-0034 x156

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.