Advocates Urge Action from State Officials on Health and Safety in Immigrant Detention Facilities

Press Release

Advocates Urge Action from State Officials on Health and Safety in Immigrant Detention Facilities

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(Sacramento, CA) — Immigrant rights organizations are calling on California state officials to take proactive steps to address the health and safety of immigrants in detention facilities throughout the state. The call to action was supported by a report prepared by Immigrant Defense Advocates, the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice and Disability Rights California, entitled “Immigrant Detention in California: Opportunities for Accountability,” including an overview of immigrant detention in the state, and policy recommendations for state officials. 

The report details the conditions of confinement in detention facilities throughout the state, including specific examples of detention standards and state law. The report includes a survey from individuals inside various detention facilities. Some of the notable results include:

  • 88 out of 95 individuals (92%) surveyed believed that their lives were in danger in detention.
  • 45 out of 97 individuals (46%) reported not having received a full medical screening when they were brought into the medical facility, a violation of facility standards. 
  • 56% of individuals who filed a grievance with the facility operators reported experiencing retaliation.

The report’s key policy recommendations:

  • California Department of Justice: Seek accountability from private operators by taking legal action against private corporations operating detention facilities when they violate public health protocols, or state law.
  • California Governor’s Office: Support legislation, policies, and litigation designed to end the unnecessary detention of immigrants in California.
  • California Department of Public Health: Provide clear guidance regarding the roles and responsibilities of public health officials with respect to immigrant detention facilities.

A broad coalition of California immigrant rights organizations signed a letter in support of the report, calling upon the California Governor and Attorney General to seek “ justice and accountability” with respect to the situation in immigrant detention facilities, stating, “we believe that the state of California can and should do more to protect the lives of those detained in immigrant detention facilities in our state.”

Advocates will deliver copies of the letter, signed by 50 organizations, and report to the Governor and Attorney General’s office, and plan to meet with appropriate officials in the coming weeks. 

Read the full letter here.

Read the full report here.

Media Contacts

Melody Pomraning
Disability Rights California
(916) 504-5938

Hamid Yazdan Panah
Immigrant Defense Advocates
(510) 417-1728

Edwin Carmona-Cruz
California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice
(415) 933-4922



Disability Rights California (DRC) is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. The mission of drc is to advance the rights, dignity, equal opportunities, and choices for all people with disabilities. For more information visit: