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MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 10: In this handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General, adult males are detained in a cell with standing room only, as observed by OIG at U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station on June 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland Security via Getty Images)
MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 10: In this handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General, adult males are detained in a cell with standing room only, as observed by OIG at U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station on June 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by…

Trump Administration redefines “torture” in Detention Centers

A lawsuit on behalf of 55,000 immigrants accuses the Trump Administration of subjecting them to new forms of torture by denying them fundamental medical care.

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While it is true that when we talk about torture our first idea is usually that of waterboarding or electrocution, there is no linguistic distinction when it comes to abuse mechanisms.

Since the first year of the Trump Administration, multiple complaints have arisen due to the questionable circumstances of undocumented immigrants in federal custody.

However, on Monday, a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on behalf of 55,000 detainees has accused the Administration of "systematically denying food, medicine and other basic needs to migrants at ICE facilities across the country," Common Dreams reported.

In this way, a handful of defense groups equated the widespread abuse and questionable conditions to which immigrants are subject to in detention centers with torture.

The Guardian, who had access to the lawsuit, highlights three cases that show the extent of abuse, where patients were not adequately treated for chronic conditions, were denied insulin treatment or assistance in cases as severe as cerebral palsy.

As the lawyers explained to the media, the conditions of some detention centers are so brutal “that migrants who have fled torture and violence “are forced to abandon viable claims for immigration relief and accept deportation out of a desperate desire to escape the torture they are enduring in detention on US soil”.

Last June, several lawyers and doctors who had access to detention centers in Clint and McAllen, Texas, described “the horrific conditions” of children and teenagers in the facilities.

"The conditions in which they are held could be compared to torture facilities," Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier wrote in a medical statement to which ABC News had access.

Lucio, who observed first-hand inside the Ursula center in McAllen - the largest Border Patrol detention center in the country - five detained babies who had to be transferred to intensive care for an outbreak of influenza that was not controlled.

At this point, the government has responded with even more aggressive measures against undocumented immigrants placed in custody.

This week, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Agency issued a statement saying that the government would not administer the necessary vaccines to detained immigrants, arguing "the complexity of carrying out vaccination programs."

The United States had more than a decade without child deaths in custody, according to CNBC. In the last months, at least three have died.

While the numbers of undocumented border crossings have increased during the years of the Trump administration, failed mechanisms such as the zero-tolerance policy have only aggravated the problem, creating absolute chaos when dealing with the number of detainees.

On top of that, the Department of Homeland Security said last Wednesday that it will rescind the Flores Agreement that prevented the detention of immigrant children for more than 20 consecutive days, and will proceed to detain families together for indefinite periods of time.

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