Each year, the U.S. government detains nearly half a million immigrants, refugees, and people seeking asylum—a policy that incurs enormous financial and social costs. Nevertheless, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not routinely collect or report data on health risks or outcomes of those in its custody.
In a study published online on November 30 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Chanelle Diaz, M.D., M.P.H., Jonathan Ross, M.D., M.S., and Albert Einstein College of Medicine colleagues described the results of one of the only studies to have examined the health impact of immigration-related confinement in the United States. Formerly detained individuals who were interviewed described aspects of immigration detention that broadly erode health and create barriers to obtaining medical care, and they shared how detention and neglect of basic human needs undermined their well-being. This study highlights the urgent need for post-detention care that focuses on alleviating the psychological harms caused by immigration detention.
Dr. Diaz is an assistant professor of medicine at Einstein and an attending physician at Montefiore Health System. Dr. Ross is an associate professor of medicine at Einstein and an attending physician at Montefiore Health System.
Posted on: Monday, January 23, 2023