Torture in the name of health: ICE is using solitary confinement to curb the spread of COVID

Many people don’t know that individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are regularly placed in solitary confinement (often termed “administrative or disciplinary segregation”) for extended periods of time, a horrific practice that Ellen Gallagher Esq. has bravely worked to bring to public attention. And now Ellen, Samara Fox, and I have a new piece in the U of Toronto Medical Journal discussing how, due to COVID, ICE has expanded the use of solitary confinement even more. Solitary confinement is tantamount to torture and humane societies do not employ or condone torture. The US ought to do better and be better. Will things improve under the new Biden administration? I am modestly hopeful but only time and evidence will tell.

We conclude our piece by stating, “Historically, the U.S. was seen as a beacon of light for immigrants seeking a better life. Given the Trump administration’s abdication of its ethical responsibilities, that light appears to have gone off. Let’s hope we can get the power back on soon.”

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