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Immigration: ICE sued in class action claim

In New Jersey and other states, many immigrants reside in detention centers. How they arrived there varies, depending on the individual circumstances surrounding their legal statuses. No matter what prompts Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to arrest a particular immigrant, he or she is supposed to be treated in a civil, not punitive, manner at all times.

Lack of proper medical and mental health care is a central focus in a recently filed class action lawsuit against ICE. One of the plaintiffs is a U.S. Marine veteran. This man served two active duty tours overseas and was honorably discharged after suffering serious injuries from an explosive device.

The marine returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and other injuries. Like many of his fellow veterans, he also developed a drinking problem. This is said to have led to a domestic violence incident that wound up leading to his arrest and placement in a detention facility.

The veteran and other plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit claim that ICE violated the Rehabilitation Act by delaying or outright denying them medical and mental health care. Many of the plaintiffs suffer from hypertension, cerebral palsy, depression and other mental health problems that typically require specialized care for treatment. The plaintiffs have stated that substandard care in detention is problematic in as many as 160 or more detention facilities throughout the country. A New Jersey immigration law attorney can advocate on a detainee's behalf to protect his or her rights under U.S. laws.

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