Another case of the eighth amendment of the constitution being thwarted. The New York Times brings us a tale of cruelty that one could never imagine happening to THIER loved one. How is it, in this great nation, that illegal immigration has turned into our own human rights crisis. Just because you are this country, lacking proper documentation, does not absolve you of your human rights endowed upon us by our Creator. I have posted only a small portion, I really urge everyone to read the entire story.

He was 17 when he came to New York from Hong Kong in 1992 with his parents and younger sister, eyeing the skyline like any newcomer. Fifteen years later, Hiu Lui Ng was a New Yorker: a computer engineer with a job in the Empire State Building, a house in Queens, a wife who is a United States citizen and two American-born sons.

But when Mr. Ng, who had overstayed a visa years earlier, went to immigration headquarters in Manhattan last summer for his final interview for a green card, he was swept into immigration detention and shuttled through jails and detention centers in three New England states.

In April, Mr. Ng began complaining of excruciating back pain. By mid-July, he could no longer walk or stand. And last Wednesday, two days after his 34th birthday, he died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Rhode Island hospital, his spine fractured and his body riddled with cancer that had gone undiagnosed and untreated for months.

Mr. Ng’s death follows a succession of cases that have drawn Congressional scrutiny to complaints of inadequate medical care, human rights violations and a lack of oversight in immigration detention, a rapidly growing network of publicly and privately run jails where the government held more than 300,000 people in the last year while deciding whether to deport them.

In federal court affidavits, Mr. Ng’s lawyers contend that when he complained of severe pain that did not respond to analgesics, and grew too weak to walk or even stand to call his family from a detention pay phone, officials accused him of faking his condition. They denied him a wheelchair and refused pleas for an independent medical evaluation.

Instead, the affidavits say, guards at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., dragged him from his bed on July 30, carried him in shackles to a car, bruising his arms and legs, and drove him two hours to a federal lockup in Hartford, where an immigration officer pressured him to withdraw all pending appeals of his case and accept deportation.

“For this desperately sick, vulnerable person, this was torture,” said Theodore N. Cox, one of Mr. Ng’s lawyers, adding that they want to see a videotape of the transport made by guards.

Immigration and detention officials would not discuss the case, saying the matter was under internal investigation. But in response to a relative of Mr. Ng’s who had begged that he be checked for a spinal injury or fractures, the Wyatt detention center’s director of nursing, Ben Candelaria, replied in a July 16 e-mail message that Mr. Ng was receiving appropriate care for “chronic back pain.” He added, “We treat each and every detainee in our custody with the same high level of quality, professional care possible.”

Officials have given no explanation why they took Mr. Ng to Hartford and back on the same day. But the lawyers say the grueling July 30 trip appeared to be an effort to prove that Mr. Ng was faking illness, and possibly to thwart the habeas corpus petition they had filed in Rhode Island the day before, seeking his release for medical treatment.

The federal judge who heard that petition on July 31 did not make a ruling, but in an unusual move insisted that Mr. Ng get the care he needed. On Aug. 1, Mr. Ng was taken to a hospital, where doctors found he had terminal cancer and a fractured spine. He died five days later.

The accounts of Mr. Ng’s treatment echo other cases that have prompted legislation, now before the House Judiciary Committee, to set mandatory standards for care in immigration detention.

21 Thoughts to ““Illegal” immigration status should not be a death sentence!”

  1. Horrifying torture.

    I wish I was still innocent enough to be shocked. Give people a uniform and a badge and remove accountability and this is what results. More and more, badges are treating US citizens like guilty people who need to prove their innocence. They do so with impunity. If they can do that to US Citizens and not be afraid, what do they care about abusing undocumented immigrants?

    It literally would have been more humane for these badges to simply take Mr. Ng out back and shoot him.

    The thought that these badges subjected him to this grueling trip to hartford to thwart the habeas corpus petition qualifies as pure evil. Even the gas chambers at Auschwitz were more humane.

    But when Mr. Ng, who had overstayed a visa years earlier, went to immigration headquarters in Manhattan last summer for his final interview for a green card, he was swept into immigration detention and shuttled through jails and detention centers in three New England states.

    This is where Mr. Ng made his tragic and ultimately fatal mistake. He went in to talk to the badges. It’s like fresh meat thrown to the wolves.

    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.

    These are not oversights. These are intentional actions to deny people the ability to help themselves. Once the badges have got you in prison, they’ve got you by the short hairs and can make up whatever ‘rules’ they want to make your life hell and then blame it on you.

    I had a friend who went to prison for 3 weeks a little far from here. I called the prison repeatedly trying to get in touch with him so I could help him out. All I wanted them to do was pass him my number so he could call me. The arrogant s**theads who answered my calls always told me that they had passed on my information. When my friend finally got out, he told me he never received my phone number from the guards.

    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.

    Officer Smith has his pension to worry about. He gets more points for cases that turn into convictions. Someday, those points might help him get hired by a fat law firm and he’ll be making 6 digits. He loses points for cases where the victim wins. Justice is besides the point. Allowing Mr. Fresh Meat to see a doctor would mean Officer Smith would lose leverage over said Fresh Meat and expose Officer Smith to accountability.

    [His sister] said the doctor warned that if the family came to visit, immigration authorities might transfer her brother. Three days passed before the warden approved a family visit, she said, after demanding their Social Security numbers.

    This warden. A truer bastard there never was.

  2. Denver Cops Brutally Beat Man and Lie About it:

  3. When America behaves as inhumanely as this there seems little hope for the rest of the world.

  4. There’s always hope.

  5. You’re right Mackie.
    Thank you for reminding me – onward and upward…

  6. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Oh, cool, where can I sign up to have my money taken away to pay for free health care for illegal immigrants! I want everything I own taken away to pay for that! Sounds like he would have kicked the bucket anyway.

  7. Elena

    Slowpoke,
    How would you feel if this was your brother, or someone you cared about? He was working in this county, paying taxes, raising a family, doing what we all do. Do you believe that this man deserved to suffer this way?

    Mackie,
    I find this story very so disturbing, on many levels.

  8. Marie

    Slowpoke Rodriquez
    You are just all heart aren’t you? This is a nation that prides itself in treating humans humanely. This story alarms me and your comment “Sounds like he would have kicked the bucket anyway” is deplorable.

  9. Marie

    The United States sees itself as a leader in the call for human rights around the world. Yet, it has been exceptionally reluctant to recognize the legitimacy of universal human rights standards within the United States. This double standard has done a great deal of damage to the U.S. global standing. More, importantly, it has threatened and harmed the dignity and well-being of millions of people in the United States. As human beings we do not lose our legal and human qualities because we are immigrants, documented or undocumented. We remain entitled to freedom from arbitrary detention, torture and inhuman treatment at all times and in all situations.

  10. Leila

    Thank you so much Elena for posting this. I would second your urging that people read the entire thing.

    Slowpoke why don’t you have the courage to be explicit? You appear to be saying that no health care should be given to people in custody for immigration violations. So much for the rule of law, much less ordinary human compassion.

  11. Marie

    Slowpoke

    From Wikipedia

    Human dignity refers to a state of righteousness, integrity, or virtue in human beings. The term dignity is defined as “the state of being worthy of honour or respect” [1].
    When this concept is associated with the adjective “human”, it is used to signify that all human beings possess intrinsic worthiness and deserve unconditional respect, regardless of age, sex, health status, social or ethnic origin, political ideas, religion, or criminal history. If violated, this can be considered discrimination. In other words, this respect is owed to every individual by the mere fact that he or she is a “member of the human family” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Preamble). This intrinsic worthiness is widely recognized by international law as the source of all human rights. In this respect, both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) of 1966 affirm that human rights “derive from the inherent dignity of the human person”.

  12. I must still be somewhat innocent. I am shocked and disturbed by this.

  13. Elena

    AWESOME post Marie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Moon-howler

    Interesting that we are sending in American troops humanitarian aid, and relief supplies to the Country of Georgia and yet allow such cruelty and incompetent bureaucracy to happen in our own country. How hypocritical.

  15. Imagine being placed on the medieval rack for months with no reprieve. That’s what this guy went through.

    The more I think about this case, and how this guy suffered for so long, I can’t think of a worse way to die.

  16. Hispanic + diagnosed schizophrenic = 2 felony charges of assault on a ‘peace’ officer

    Hispanic + diagnosed schizophrenic + VIDEOCAMERA = charges dropped

  17. Lafayette

    ***OFF TOPIC***I am sorry for doing this, but this has to be posted somewhere.
    Well, I’d not even looked at bvbl, and once I did, I had to comment. Well, guess what ladies and gentlemen, my comments were DELETED! Now, Greg may NOT allow them on his blog, but I am more than happy to post them here where the world can read them with their own two eyes. I must admit I do miss using “Lafayette” for a screen name. Looks like she’s been “killed off” of bvbl.

    Alanna & Elena, thanks for allowing me to post them here. Where Greg has NO CONTROL over what is said and/or posted.
    Chris (Censoredbybvbl, Jr.) 😉

    Dolph said on 13 Aug 2008 at 2:24 pm:
    jfk,
    I agree with you about the alt-med building. It is a disgrace and is visible to everyone coming in to Prince William County from I-66. The county needs to get a handle on this property. I believe the property is in the Gainesville District.

    DPortM said on 13 Aug 2008 at 6:05 pm: Anonymous – you can still buy tickets for the rides so you don’t need to buy a wristband ($16).Dolph, have you called the County to complain about the Altmed building? I believe you live in the Gainesville District.
    DPortM said on 13 Aug 2008 at 6:13 pm: Dolph, Since you consider the Altmed building a disgrace, will you be volunteering to help clean it up and remove the graffiti? The new resolution allows the County and residents to assist with the clean-up by signing up to do so with the Clean Community Council.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:<
    Lafayette said on 14 Aug 2008 at 10:53 am:
    DPortM,

    I don’t know why you think it’s any of your business as to what or how Dolph may volunteer her time. We as citizens of the county can volunteer where we see fit.

    Yes, the county does now allow volunteers to go in and help clean up these epidemic proportions of graffti countywide. There are MANY people in this county that have given back to our community in various ways, and they don’t all feel the need to tell the world what they are doing to make it a better place. Nor, do they call out others for what they are or are not doing to give back. Calling people out and asking them is not the way to get more folks involved with a worthy cause. This will discourage folks from doing so.

    Furthermore, Patty got huffy when someone mentioned the sex of her child. I can’t imagine that Dolph would care for you commenting on what district she lives in. Perhaps, when the county decides to take spray for mosquitoes in her neck of the woods, then she perhaps will reconsider your offer. She will have to speak to that matter. This is just my opinion.

    Why be so nasty to someone that was agreeing with you?
    (Disclaimer I can’t stand the thought of having to be back on this blog, but it’s for just cause.imho)
    Dolph said on 14 Aug 2008 at 12:58 pm:
    DportM,
    It’s really too bad that some of you all have to display such blatant hostility even to those who are agreeing. No, I don’t have to go scrub graffiti off of a building in order to voice concern and disgust. I also don’t think your supervisor would approve of you addressing county concerns in this matter.
    The county is aware of the problem. 51 people contacting them rather than 50 isn’t going to make a difference. It takes up time and person-hours and wastes county resources to make continual demands when you KNOW that someone else has already filed a complaint. This is not a case where volume makes a difference.
    You do your organization no favors with this type of response. Some self-reflection might explain a few things and why they have happened. Hatefulness seems endemic here.
    DPortM said on 15 Aug 2008 at 7:26 am:
    Dolph,

    There was nothing wrong with my response – it wasn’t hateful – I was simply asking you questions about how you would get involved to clean up the community (or not). I have a problem with people who complain and yet do nothing to solve the problem. The difference between you and me is I take action to solve problems, and I don’t just bitch about it.

    what??? said on 15 Aug 2008 at 8:42 am:
    DPortM said on 15 Aug 2008 at 7:26 am:

    I didn’t think your comments were nasty at all, DPortM.
    I was a bit miffed by Dolph’s response to you.
    BTW – that seems to be a liberal characterstic….bitch and moan, do nothing to solve the problem, and expect everyone else to take care it.

    Dolph said on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:26 pm:
    Dportm,
    You don’t know what I do or don’t do, nor do I know what you do or don’t do. I find your arrogance totally amazing. Again, try a little self reflection.

    I would suggest our goals are perhaps different as well as our problem solving techniques.

  18. Dolph

    Dportm would have responded nastily regardless of what I had said. I haven’t seen her over cleaning up the Alt-med building, nor would I expect to see her. The county has mechanisms in place to handle this sort of thing.

    Interestingly enough, I have been accused of bitching and moaning about things. I am not the one bitching about conditions in my neighborhood. I like my neighbors, including the hispanics and I get along with them. I don’t hate the police chief and think he is a traitor. I like Chief Deane. I don’t see little tiny ‘illegals’ crawling out from every rock in my neighborhood. I don’t find the school system despicable, the neighborhoods gang-infested, and I don’t feel the need to advertise my political beliefs in my front yard.

    Unfortuately, many hsm types find it easier to pigeon-hole people into groups: ILLEGALS, liberals, illegal alien apologists, and the like, than it is to establish dialogue. As is so clearly illustrated, once they decide they think they know you, you cannot even agree with them without being bullied.

    I do think that the alt-med building is disgraceful and makes for an ugly entrance to our community from the 66 corridor. Hopefully the county will prioritize cleaning up this mess. Meanwhile, should I look for Ms. DportM out there with her scrub brush, bucket, sand-blaster and bush hogger? If you are going to talk the talk, walk the walk.

  19. “Hispanic + diagnosed schizophrenic = 2 felony charges of assault on a ‘peace’ officer

    Hispanic + diagnosed schizophrenic + VIDEOCAMERA = charges dropped”

    Yet another argument for cameras for everyone’s protection, Mackie.

    Here’s the issue as well–how many mentally ill (truly mentally ill) of all ethnic backgrounds are sitting in prisons when they should be in treatment and functioning as productive citizens? I’d love to see a mental health audit of VA prisons. Serious mental illness can result in violence and irrational behaviors that could be prevented if mental health were a priority in this country.

  20. I think it’s one thing to mow lawns of foreclosed homes in your neighborhood if you are concerned. It is another thing all together to take on business property! Come on. We can do whatever we can, but we are NOT the county. Stirrup should clean this up since it is in his district and it is an obvious issue.

    Furthermore, when I hear about building more businesses, I wonder again why we do this instead of offering incoming businesses pre-existing buildings perhaps with incentives. We don’t need new development. We need to use the ample resources we already have and avoid needless over-development.

  21. Dolph

    Sadly, DportM continues her attack on Dolph. Unfortunately, DportM doesn’t realize she is even being nasty. This behavior is the main problem with bvbl and with hsm. The followers simply do not hear their own vitriol. My offense was agreeing with another poster about how awful the alt-med building looks. The county should make efforts to clean this mess up and to place a lien on the property. The alt-med building is just as big of an eye sore as the famous sign in the City of Manassas.

    DportM seems to feel she is privy to my comings and goings here and how I spend my time. I think not. I will post here since I have gone the way of many others on this blog. Another reject. The amen chorus must be getting pretty loud and lonely over on bvbl.

    From dportm:

    2. DPortM said on 16 Aug 2008 at 7:58 am:
    Dolph,
    You are spot on about our goals and problem solving techniques being different, like I indicated previously. I take action and you spend all day over on the ANTI site bitching and moaning about those of us who are taking action to clean up our communities. You have clearly aligned yourself with the anti-resolution, anti-CS, anti-GL, anti-JS, and anti-bvbl crowd.
    I suggest that you, madam, suffer from extreme arrogance, and not me.
    (Now I am getting nasty).
    When I want your opinion, I will ask for it.

    DportM, don’t you think it would have been better to keep your battle with me on your own turf? You act like a real tough chick over there. Now you get my opinion and you are pretty much powerless. In the immortal words of your beloved leader, BITE ME.

    I suggest you just learn that I do have opinions and I will express them. My fight was not with you, Ms. DportM. You chose to make this a personal issue. My issue was with trashy buildings.

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