Congressman Jason Crow Leads Members of Colorado Delegation to Aurora ICE Facility, Calls for More Oversight
On Monday, Representative Jason Crow (CO-06), along with Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), and Joe Neguse (CO-02), visited the Aurora Contract Detention Facility as part of Crow’s weekly congressional oversight visits.
The decision to launch weekly visits to the facility came after a series of disturbing reports about the conditions at immigration detention centers across the country and ICE’s refusal to claim responsibility for medical conditions at private, for-profit immigration detention centers. The visits, which are conducted by Rep. Crow or a member of his staff, occur every Monday at 12:00 PM M.T. A copy of the report prepared by Crow’s office from the July 22 visit can be found here.
During the visit, members saw both the men and women’s areas, the kitchen, the medical care area, and the law library. Notably, the members were told that the top two medical positions had vacancies and that there was only one psychologist and one social worker on hand for 1,237 individuals. The facility, which has experienced multiple disease outbreaks, currently has two pods in quarantine for mumps and chickenpox. The members also spoke with women at the facility who stated it can take up to three weeks to receive medical treatment for request as small as ibuprofen. While the facility initially held individuals who had criminal convictions, today ICE reports that roughly 800 of the 1,300 detainees are there after seeking asylum or issues with immigration charges and come from over sixty countries.
“Thank you to Representatives Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, and Joe Neguse for joining me on this week’s visit. By conducting Congressional oversight and holding the administration accountable, we hope to improve conditions at these facilities and draw attention to the impact of the administration’s policies on our community. All people deserve to be treated with dignity and decency. ” said Crow.
“This is not the way we should be treating people,” said DeGette. “These private, for-profit detention facilities should have no place in this country.”
“I appreciate the hard work of Congressman Crow in ensuring we are able to conduct thorough oversight of this facility. The Trump administration’s outrageous policies are putting additional pressure on our system and on facilities like the one in Aurora and are only worsening the problem. We need comprehensive immigration reform but first and foremost we need decent, humane policies that understand we are dealing with people and families from across the globe who are often fleeing unspeakable violence,” said Perlmutter.
“There is no doubt that our immigration system is broken, a byproduct of this Administration’s disastrous policies. There are real people going through trying circumstances - people who have fled violence to come to the United States to seek refuge - and it is crucial that we treat these individuals in a humane way at the border and right here in Colorado,” said Neguse.