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Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

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  • Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

    The system is broken:

    Man whose US immigration notice was sent to the wrong address is detained with untreated spinal cancer until he dies, denied access to his wife and children
    (Article from NYTimes, more accurate, more inflammatory headline from Boingboing.)
    Originally posted by The Article
    In 2001, a notice ordering him to appear in immigration court was mistakenly sent to a nonexistent address, records show. When Mr. Ng did not show up at the hearing, the judge ordered him deported. By then, however, he was getting married, and on a separate track, his wife petitioned Citizenship and Immigration Services for a green card for him — a process that took more than five years. Heeding bad legal advice, the couple showed up for his green card interview on July 19, 2007, only to find enforcement agents waiting to arrest Mr. Ng on the old deportation order.

    The nursing director replied that Mr. Ng had been granted a bottom bunk and was receiving painkillers and muscle relaxants prescribed by a detention center doctor.

    But his condition continued to deteriorate. Once a robust man who stood nearly six feet and weighed 200 pounds, his relatives said, Mr. Ng looked like a shrunken and jaundiced 80-year-old.

    “He said, ‘I told the nursing department, I’m in pain, but they don’t believe me,’ ” his sister recalled. “ ‘They tell me, stop faking.’ ”

    Soon, according to court papers, he had to rely on other detainees to help him reach the toilet, bring him food and call his family; he no longer received painkillers, because he could not stand in line to collect them. On July 26, Andy Wong, a lawyer associated with Mr. Cox, came to see the detainee, but had to leave without talking to him, he said, because Mr. Ng was too weak to walk to the visiting area, and a wheelchair was denied.

    On July 30, according to an affidavit by Mr. Wong, he was contacted by Larry Smith, a deportation officer in Hartford, who told him on a speakerphone, with Mr. Ng present, that he wanted to resolve the case, either by deporting Mr. Ng, or “releasing him to the streets.” Officer Smith said that no exam by an outside doctor would be allowed, and that Mr. Ng would not be given a wheelchair.

    Mr. Ng told his lawyer he was ready to give up, the affidavit said, “because he could no longer withstand the suffering inside the facility,” but Officer Smith insisted that Mr. Ng would first have to withdraw all his appeals.

    The account of his treatment clearly disturbed the federal judge, William E. Smith of United States District Court in Providence, who instructed the government’s lawyer the next day to have the warden get Mr. Ng to the hospital for an M.R.I.

    The results were grim: cancer in his liver, lungs and bones, and a fractured spine. “ ‘I don’t have much time to live,’ ” his sister said he told her in a call from Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
    In game handle: Steel Scion
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  • #2
    Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

    I agree - the immigration system is broken. I'm all for clamping down on illegal immigration but I think it's incumbent upon us to make legal immigration much more streamlined and painless than the process is now.

    Not to troll, but the way this process is run doesn't make me look forward to having the government run health care, for example.

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    • #3
      Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

      I will agree, the system for LEGAL immigration is horribly broken. As long as it remains this way, there will not be an effective solution to the problem of Illegal Immigration.

      Edit: Boingboing's "more accurate" headline claims that he was denied access to his wife and children, while the NY Times article ends by saying that they did in fact visit him in medical care on the last day before he died. Small comfort, granted, but it's something.

      This "more accurate" headline, and your quote, also make it appear that he was jailed primarily because of the bad address on the mailing, while the article shows that he was in violation of immigration law years earlier, and failed to do anything about it. It just took them a hell of a long time to find him afterwards. If he'd actually got the letter in 2001 when he was supposed to, there's a good chance he would have been deported then instead of waiting until 2007.

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      • #4
        Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

        Anyone who has read the Gulag Archipelago, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, will immediately recognize this type of merciless incarceration and bureaucratic inertia. The system claims to do one thing, but ends up doing the opposite, and I know there may be a few who might deserve such isolation and control, but for every Mr. Ng, there are almost certainly 10 or 20, maybe more, who are experiencing the same injustice, whose stories we'll never hear.

        This kind of system is nothing less than what we condemned the Soviets for, and fought against it, so it wouldn't happen here. Must we become monstrous ourselves to defend against the monster?
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        • #5
          Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

          What? This isn't "defending" against anything. It's just monstrous inefficiency. I don't get what you're aiming at here.

          This story is significant enough on it's own merits that it really doesn't need the type of exaggeration and hyperbole contained in your statement and Boingboing's headline added to it to make it sound worse. That only weakens your case.

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          • #6
            Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

            Originally posted by leejo View Post
            Not to troll, but the way this process is run doesn't make me look forward to having the government run health care, for example.
            So, what about getting rid of that government ran military?

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            • #7
              Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

              The Constitution tells the government to maintain a military. It doesn't tell it to maintain health care.

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              • #8
                Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                It also doesn't tell it to stop people from getting drunk or stoned either... they seem to have no qualms about asserting control over that.
                |TG|Switch

                Better known as:
                That noob who crashed the chopper.
                That noob who ran over the mine.
                That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

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                • #9
                  Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                  This is becoming very tengential to the original purpose of the thread, but I'll bite. Let me start from the top and draw the line of logic as I see it.

                  --This story illustrates gross inefficiency and negligence in a particular government program

                  --We citizens generalize that, with some confidance, as an indication that government programs in general are grossly inefficient.

                  --As a tangent to the original Gov't program, Leejo suggests that proposed Government Health Care will become one of the "programs in general" that are grossly inefficient, which should give us pause before implementing such a thing.

                  --As a tangent to that, GW suggests that the government military is also one of the "programs in general" that are grossly inefficient, asking why it should remain supported while other inefficient programs are discarded. I responded that the Constitution requires the Government to maintain a functional military and it is therefore not an optional program, no matter how inefficient it may be.

                  --Controlled Substance programs are yet again tangential, and while I will agree both that they are inefficient and that they are not required by the constitution, their existence is largely irrelevant to our decisions on the previously mentioned programs.

                  Edit: I wasn't sure if my memory on this was correct, so I went back and checked the constitution, and Congress is directly given authority to maintain a military, but isn't actually required do so. They are, however, required to "provide for the common defense". And while a private contractor very well might provide defensive capabilities more efficiently than a government-maintained military, I would argue that this greater efficiency would come at the cost of reliability, and that reliability is a more important criteria than efficiency for this particular purpose of government. But hey, if anyone here prefers Blackwater to the US Marine Corps, feel free to make the argument.
                  Last edited by Kerostasis; 08-15-2008, 01:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                    Originally posted by GlobalWarmin View Post
                    So, what about getting rid of that government ran military?
                    Why not have the government run grocery stores and shopping malls?

                    If you want your grandmother to feel like an expendable private in the army when she requires a procedure to save her life or alleviate her suffering, then I think a government "ran" healthcare system is a terrific idea.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                      Yea, that was an off shoot, but it just popped into mind after reading the preceding post.
                      |TG|Switch

                      Better known as:
                      That noob who crashed the chopper.
                      That noob who ran over the mine.
                      That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                      That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                        Originally posted by leejo View Post
                        I agree - the immigration system is broken. I'm all for clamping down on illegal immigration but I think it's incumbent upon us to make legal immigration much more streamlined and painless than the process is now.

                        Not to troll, but the way this process is run doesn't make me look forward to having the government run health care, for example.
                        That is why you don't have government run it in a national health care system. You have private industries run it and government oversee and regulate it.

                        I think the same could work for immigration. Have individuals run immigration and government oversee and regulate it.
                        I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                          Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                          That is why you don't have government run it in a national health care system. You have private industries run it and government oversee and regulate it.
                          But that's exactly what we have now. Private industries offer health care and health insurance, and the government oversees it and hands out lists of regulations miles long. Nationalized Health Care as it usually is used refers to having the government take over the job of private health insurance carriers and then ordering everyone to sign up. What sort of Nationalized Health Care plan have you been hearing about that doesn't do this?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                            Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                            But that's exactly what we have now. Private industries offer health care and health insurance, and the government oversees it and hands out lists of regulations miles long. Nationalized Health Care as it usually is used refers to having the government take over the job of private health insurance carriers and then ordering everyone to sign up. What sort of Nationalized Health Care plan have you been hearing about that doesn't do this?

                            Like these.
                            I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

                              What a shame, another example of how bad the Govt is at doing its job. I agree that the illegal issues also tie into this massive broken system but would only say it is a small part of the overall much larger problem.

                              People who want to come here legally should not be treated like this. What an outrage!!!
                              Battlefield Samurai 'Banzaaaiii!!!

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