The Miami Herald published an op-ed today by Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center and coauthor of the March 2009 report Dying for Decent Care: Bad Medicine in Immigration Custody, stating that
Today’s patchwork detention system subjects too many immigrants to substandard, and at times appalling or nonexistent, medical care. Basic detention standards are not enforceable and often are ignored.
This year, ICE is spending $2.6 billion of our tax dollars to detain and deport tens of thousands of such immigrants. Much of that would be better spent on alternatives to detention. For a fraction of the $100-a-day cost per detainee, ICE can release needlessly detained immigrants with little risk that they will flee. This is a more sensible way to manage, shrink and reform ICE’s dysfunctional detention system.