New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Special Projects Fund
October 2017 - August 2019
Each year, thousands of New York City residents are detained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention jails.
Although not charged with criminal violations, they are primarily held to ensure that they attend future hearings concerning their immigration status. Most of these detainees are lawful permanent residents (predominantly green card holders) and people who have lived in this country for decades, maintained employment, raised families, and had access to health care in the community through Medicaid or private insurance. But detention breaks that connection, making them reliant on the immigration detention facility, a local county jail, and ICE for health care services, some of which fail to provide adequate medical treatment. Among the many barriers to quality health care faced by immigrants in detention are a lack of information on requesting assistance, denial of health and mental health services, and a lack of discharge planning.
NYSHealth awarded New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) a grant to develop and launch a comprehensive program to ensure that immigrants with serious illnesses who are confined to detention facilities receive adequate health care services while in custody and access to health care upon their release.