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National Briefing / Florida

Immigrant healthcare criticized

March 18, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

U.S. immigration authorities routinely delay, deny or botch medical care for detained immigrants in poorly equipped facilities nationwide, according to separate reports released by two advocacy groups.

Human Rights Watch and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center blame the problems on unskilled or indifferent staffers, overcrowding, bureaucratic red tape, language barriers and limited services available to detainees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agency responded that its Division of Immigration Health Services gives detainees general and emergency healthcare, including dental, chronic and mental health care.

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