An inevitable child death in a detention center

Even if these ICE child detention centers were happy little paradises staffed by loving, caring child psychologists and nurses (they aren’t), it was statistically inevitable that at some point one of the children would die while separated from their parents. It seems to have happened.

The question is whether the institution takes responsibility for the death, and whether it made reasonable efforts to prevent the circumstances that led to it. The tweet mentions “possible negligent care” and an infection caught in the crowded conditions, in which case ICE is responsible for the death. ICE has also been aware that their policy actively damages children, and don’t seem to care.

Unfortunately, since law enforcement can literally gun down unarmed people in the back, I have no faith that anyone in our government will take responsibility. They’ll make excuses again.


  1. jazzlet says

    I can’t help wondering how many in the adminsitration will be thinking ‘Well that ought to put them off coming’.

  2. damien75 says

    Given the number of children detained, it was statistically inevitable.

    Nonetheless, it is horrible. That child died away from its parents. It is sickening.

    What have the US become ? Kidnapping children ! What next ? Ransoming ?

    Am I mistaken when I think that the US used to be a beacon of civilization ? Am I right or looking at the past through rosy lenses ?

  3. says

    Well, we already knew, as of, a day or two ago, that they thought having a 6 year old sign a paper saying, “Its my responsibility, not the adults, to keep away from the kid sexually abusing me, and others.”, was a sensible way to “fix” problems. I am not at all surprised by the concept of, “When a kid is sick, just leave them to suffer, instead of offering care.” Probably a good thing it wasn’t on a boat, or we would be seeing the old slave age solution of, “Just throw the sick ones over the side, so they don’t spread the problem.” It would be right in line with the sort of “authorities” running this madness.

  4. says

    damien75 @2

    What have the US become ? Kidnapping children ! What next ?

    Putting them to work. It’s a country built on the backs of kidnapped children.

  5. Saad says

    “Why did you not provide better care?” is the wrong question to ask a group that is kidnapping children and putting them in concentration camps.

  6. davidnangle says

    Negligent death is arguably what concentration camps are for. Right up until they are for deliberate death.

  7. says

    @#1, jazzlet:

    No, you’re thinking of Obama. This has moved to “serves them right for coming here” — which isn’t much of a difference at all, when you get right down to it. These detention centers did not spring up overnight after Trump got sworn in, and ICE did not suddenly replace their agents with white nationalists in February 2017.

  8. Daniel Dunér says

    damien74 @ 2
    Yeah, about that, you are definitely wrong. The USA have absolutely never been “the good guys”. Have you by any chance gone to the US school system? Because that incredibly strange belief seems to be common, even among mostly reasonable people, if they have. I don’t say this to be rude. But because you seem to ask it as a honest question, I felt it might be worthwhile to actually respond in an honest way.

    All you have to do is look at the USA from an outside perspective. Here are some examples of what I mean:
    The USA was founded continent-wide genocide,. The USA was built on slavery. The USA has almost constantly been in wars since it’s inception. The USA constitution was specifically written to prevent true democracy (because they feared that would lead to some sort of socialism). The USA has overthrown so many governments that it’s almost impossible to keep track. Every US president since WW2 is arguably a war criminal according to the Nuremberg principles. The USA is the most named nation when you ask people to name the country that’s the greatest threat to world peace today (in everything from Mexico to Finland to China to Australia).

  9. Robert Serrano says

    Now, be fair. This nation was also built on the backs of kidnapped adults.

  10. damien75 says

    Daniel Dunér @2

    I’ve never been through the US school system. I’ve never lived in the US. I am French.

    I am not challenging anything you say but it seems to me that the US have been, at some point during the XXth century, ahead of the world regarding individual rights, the freedom of the press, freedom of speech.

    In the US women had the vote long before they had it in France (1945). Wikipedia says that in France in 1886 married women were allowed to open a bank account without the authorization of their husband, but I was told in a university class that it was in the 1970’s. I don’t know if American women even ever needed their husband’s approval to open a bank account. Oral contraception was not allowed in France until years after it was in the US (welle, it varies from state to state) for the silliest of reasons. The demise of President Nixon due to the Wartergate scandal is something we can only dream of in France. Our presidents can be guilty of anything a hundred time over without any consequences, even after they leave office apparently. It also seems to me that enormous parts of the scientific research done in the XXth century were done in the US. I’m not w psychologist and I am not knowledgeable in psychology, but each time I looked up a psychology fact I had the impression that practically all the research in psychology was done in the US.

    Maybe I am unconsciously cherry picking.

  11. pocketnerd says

    In news that should surprise absolutely nobody, the vocal “pro-life” element of the Trumpistas has responded by blaming Democrats, blaming abortion, blaming women, and (number one with a bullet) pretending it hasn’t happened.

  12. jrkrideau says

    @ 12 damien75
    I am not challenging anything you say but it seems to me that the US have been, at some point during the XXth century, ahead of the world regarding individual rights, the freedom of the press, freedom of speech.

    Not particularly. It may have been ahead in some matters and behind in others. If you were poor and black in the USA your individual human rights very limited. In Canada and Australia native inhabitants were very badly mistreated.

    My impression is that, other than some differences in actual law there was little or no significant difference between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA regarding individual rights, the freedom of the press, and freedom of speech with the proviso that you were white. Natives and visible minorities could have their rights violated in all sorts of nasty legal, and probably illegal, ways.

    In the US women had the vote long before they had it in France
    But much later (well 15 –18 years?) than in New Zealand, possibly slightly later than in Australia (?) and at roughly the same time as women in Canada and the UK. Times are rough estimates as the US, Australia and Canada are federal states so women might have had the vote is some provinces and states but not federally before about 1920. I am no expert.

    France was just lagging behind a bit in this case but probably well ahead in other matters.

  13. Susan Montgomery says

    Just so I’m sure, this is the same government you want making all of your health care, nutrition and safety decisions for you, right?

  14. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    What have the US become ? Kidnapping children ! What next ? Ransoming ?

    Already there. Didn’t hear about how some parents were offered their children back, but they were also given the bill for the plane ride of the kid to be reunited?

    It’s absolutely sickening.

  15. says

    The title of this post is false. Yegani originally tweeted “that a child died in ICE custody in Dilley, Texas.”, but subsequently withdrew that claim. The tweet PJZ quotes, claims that the death occurred “following her stay” at the detention centre. ICE has denied that any child died in its custody.

    I don’t doubt that over the next few days confirmation (or not) of and more details about the incident will come to light.

  16. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Susan Montgomery #15

    Just so I’m sure, this is the same government you want making all of your health care, nutrition and safety decisions for you, right?

    Oh fuck off with the right wing bullshit.

    I’m Canadian and I’ve lived fifty two years with socialised medicine and despite having had two accidents requiring surgery, (one of which would have left me unable to walk had I not had that surgery) ulcerative colitis, diagnosed clinical depression, and a heart arrhythmia, not to mention all the usual minor health issues we’re all prone to, I’ve never had the government make a single medical decision for me.

    I have gotten second opinions, changed doctors numerous times, and even refused the recommended treatment of one emergency room physician. Worked out well that one, the second Dr when I went back later was much more informative, telling me that maybe a third of patients elect to not get a cast in my situation.

    My out of pocket for all that: a $20 deposit for crutches that I would have gotten back had I remembered to return them.

    I’m sick to fucking death of this fantasist’s narrative about socialised medicine being totalitarian. It’s not. What it is is a more humane and moral way to insure the health and happiness of people.

  17. davidnangle says

    Susan Montgomery #15: “Just so I’m sure, this is the same government you want making all of your health care, nutrition and safety decisions for you, right?”

    Absolutely! The government doesn’t have to pay for advertisement, or massive boardroom salaries, or dividends to investors. The profit motive is at direct odds with our needs of health care, nutrition, and safety.

    You have to pay that money anyway. Why pay it to an organization that’s intrinsically less efficient? (And I don’t mean government. Government inefficiency is only brought about by Republicans who keep telling us government doesn’t work so that they can get elected into positions to ensure government doesn’t work. The solution to THAT problem is obvious.)

  18. Daniel Dunér says

    damien75 @ 12
    Ah, I’m sorry. I knew it was a bit risky to make that guess on my part, my bad, I apologize.

    The point of my list was to balance out the mainstream narrative the USA tells about itself. But it’s obviously not that black and white. For example, you’re right about the science. Even though I think it’s better understood in terms of material factors (economy & nation size) rather than in terms of it being “more civilized”. But there are other things, like the US conception of free speech that has been very important in mostly good ways.

    But most of all: the USA is a superpower. Which means that everything it does has the potential to be HUGE. That includes both good and bad things. From my perspective, it’s pretty obvious that the US government has mostly had a negative impact on the world. But I also hold that to be true for most/all nations, including France and Sweden. It’s just that the transgressions of smaller countries have less of an impact.

    But rather to think about what nations do, I generally prefer to look at movements. And there have been a lot of important movements in the USA. I owe a huge part of my understanding of feminism, race, religion, music and surprisingly even class (Le Guin, Chomsky, ~Goldman) to US thinkers.

    So there, that’s my attempt to try to give a more balanced picture. I simply don’t think you can treat nations as a monolithic entity that’s either good or evil.

    Susan Montgomery @ 15
    Yup. I’m an anarcho-communist and even I want that. Sure, I want to abolish all nations and build up other societal structures that better meet the needs of the people. But if given the choice:
    A. Free healthcare managed by a state that is mostly autocratic but not completely.
    B. Life-ruiningly expensive healthcare managed by completely autocratic corporations.
    Then, yeah, I will pick A every time. Not because it’s a long term ideal worth striving for. But it’s better in the short term for actual people. And it’s better in the long term, as you normalize collective solutions and move power from completely autocratic institutions (corporations) to institutions that in theory should be democratic (the state). Which has more potential to move towards true democracy (some sort of socialism) when people realize that it’s supposed to be democratic but actually isn’t (option A). Rather than trying to make people accept the idea that the economy is supposed to be autocratic (option B).

  19. Susan Montgomery says

    @everyone who responded – Okay, fine. If you’re sure that the US government has demonstrated it’s trustworthiness and reliability then have at it. I’m totally certain that minorities will have the exact same care and access.

  20. Daniel Dunér says

    Susan Montgomery @ 23

    Of course the US government isn’t trustworthy and reliable, they are fucking corrupt monsters. Of course minorities will get the short end of the stick. Of course it won’t work properly. Of course there are going to be countless horrible problems.

    But it’s already just like that. In combination with all the worst parts of corporations and capitalism. An absolute shit show, to put it mildly. So I guess it depends on what you’re suggesting. Leaving healthcare in the hands of private corporations is a guaranteed catastrophe and will result it more and more problems over time. As if it isn’t bad enough as it is.

    But if you’re suggesting that people work directly towards an actually good solution, you may be right. It might be such a hopeless situation that the only realistic way forward is to build collectivized healthcare as separate societal structure, outside of both the state and capitalism. I’m not sure how it could be done in the US, given the resources required to run a good hospital. Maybe the problem can’t be solved without a socialistic revolution? I’m not sure, but if you have any good ideas I’m interested to hear them.

  21. jrkrideau says

    @ 23 Susan Montgomery
    / the US government
    Sorry, that was not what you said at 15 and it was not obvious. This blog has an international readership which is likely some of what provoked the “attacks”. Many people in other countries have a lot more trust in their governments than people in the USA. We don’t always think a government is automatically out to get us. Sometimes yes but it is not an automatic response.

  22. pocketnerd says

    It boggles my mind that the “GUBBAMINT CAIN’T DO NUTHIN’ RIGHT!” crowd are invariably the ones who support the most blatantly corrupt politicians.

  23. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Susan Montgomery wrote:

    @everyone who responded – Okay, fine. If you’re sure that the US government has demonstrated it’s trustworthiness and reliability then have at it. I’m totally certain that minorities will have the exact same care and access.

    So, instead you’d rather trust insurance company executives and hospital administrators each hoping to collect as much profit for the least amount of cost? The insurance company hires an army of people looking for reasons to deny or limit your coverage, while the healthcare administrators have an army of people looking for ways to increase how much money they get from you or your insurance company, and the cost of all this nonsense is inevitably passed onto you.
    Here’s an individually wrapped Halls cough drop provided by a medical provider: Cost billed: $10/each. You can a package of 75 of them for less than that on Amazon.

    All this scaremongering about death panels and beaurocrats determining your health care is nonsense because you already have those in your current system! The only difference is that you don’t get to vote those assholes out if they make policies that harm you or your friends/family. You can tell yourself that you can vote with your dollars, but the industry is so consolidated that you don’t really have much of a choice anyway, and even if you do switch, they’re all engaged in the same behaviour anyway.

    As a Canadian, I can tell you that politicians can play dirty tricks with your healthcare, but you can punish politicians who screw up your healthcare unlike the insurance company executives you’re currently stuck with. Yes, there’s waiting lists for elective procedures but critical or life preserving procedures happen quickly (if you have a worn-out hip, you’ll have to wait, but if you have a broken hip, you won’t). And surprisingly, people get really pissed off when a politician screws up your healthcare system under the guise of “cutting costs” and “finding efficiencies” because those tend to resolve into lives lost which is pretty effective political fodder.

    Also, do you think minorities are well served by your current system? I’m almost certain that they are not!

  24. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Also also, this “Government can’t do anything right” is often the reason why your government can’t do anything right. You’ve accepted failure before even getting started, so there’s no point trying to hold anyone accountable. Hence, the failures never get corrected and only get compounded on top of other failures.

    Stop accepting failures under the guise of “The government can’t do anything right” and demand better.