Brief report

Suicide rates of migrants in United States immigration detention (2010–2020)

  • Received: 27 April 2021 Accepted: 11 May 2021 Published: 13 May 2021
  • Objective

    We determined the annual suicide rate of migrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the past decade.

    Methods

    We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of the annual suicide rates for ICE detainees from federal fiscal years (FY) 2010–2020. Death date and cause of death were directly extracted from publicly available ICE Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Library, ICE death reports, and ICE press releases. Annual suicide rates were calculated as suicides per 100,000 person-years and suicides per 100,000 admissions.

    Results

    From 2010–2019, the mean number of suicides per 100,000 person-years was 3.3 (standard deviation (SD): 2.6). In 2020, the suicide rate increased 5.3 times the prior 10-year average to 17.4 suicides per 100,000 person-years. When calculating suicide rate based on admissions per FY, the mean number of suicides from 2010–2019 per 100,000 admissions was 0.3 (SD: 0.3). In 2020, the suicide rate increased 11.0 times the prior 10-year average to 3.4 suicides per 100,000 admissions.

    Conclusion

    In 2020, the detainee suicide rate increased substantially compared to the past decade. This may point to a worsening mental health crisis in ICE detention.

    Citation: Parsa Erfani, Elizabeth T Chin, Caroline H Lee, Nishant Uppal, Katherine R Peeler. Suicide rates of migrants in United States immigration detention (2010–2020)[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2021, 8(3): 416-420. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2021031

    Related Papers:

  • Objective

    We determined the annual suicide rate of migrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the past decade.

    Methods

    We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of the annual suicide rates for ICE detainees from federal fiscal years (FY) 2010–2020. Death date and cause of death were directly extracted from publicly available ICE Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Library, ICE death reports, and ICE press releases. Annual suicide rates were calculated as suicides per 100,000 person-years and suicides per 100,000 admissions.

    Results

    From 2010–2019, the mean number of suicides per 100,000 person-years was 3.3 (standard deviation (SD): 2.6). In 2020, the suicide rate increased 5.3 times the prior 10-year average to 17.4 suicides per 100,000 person-years. When calculating suicide rate based on admissions per FY, the mean number of suicides from 2010–2019 per 100,000 admissions was 0.3 (SD: 0.3). In 2020, the suicide rate increased 11.0 times the prior 10-year average to 3.4 suicides per 100,000 admissions.

    Conclusion

    In 2020, the detainee suicide rate increased substantially compared to the past decade. This may point to a worsening mental health crisis in ICE detention.



    加载中

    Acknowledgments



    Elizabeth T. Chin is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (DGE-1656518). Parsa Erfani—concept, data collection, data analysis, results interpretation, manuscript writing, manuscript editing. Elizabeth T. Chin—concept, data collection, data analysis, results interpretation, manuscript writing, manuscript editing. Caroline H. Lee—results interpretation, manuscript writing, manuscript editing. Nishant Uppal—results interpretation, manuscript writing, manuscript editing. Katherine R. Peeler—results interpretation, manuscript writing, manuscript editing, administrative oversight.

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

    [1]  Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. Management of Mental Health Cases in Immigration Detention Available from: https://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/OIG_11-62_Mar11.pdf.
    [2] (2017) Human Rights Watch. Systemic Indifference: Dangerous & Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention .
    [3] Keller AS, Rosenfeld B, Trinh-Shevrin C, et al. (2003) Mental health of detained asylum seekers. Lancet 362: 1721-1723. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14846-5
    [4] von Werthern M, Robjant K, Chui Z, et al. (2018) The impact of immigration detention on mental health: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry 18: 382. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1945-y
    [5] Committee on Oversight and Reform and Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties U.S. House of Representatives The Trump Administration's Mistreatment of Detained Immigrants: Deaths and Deficient Medical Care by For-Profit Detention Contractors (2020) .Available from: https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2020-09-24.%20Staff%20Report%20on%20ICE%20Contractors.pdf.
    [6] Terp S, Ahmed S, Burner E, et al. (2021) Deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention: FY2018–2020. AIMS Public Health 8: 81-89. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2021006
    [7] United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Detainee Death Reporting (2021) .Available from: https://www.ice.gov/detain/detainee-death-reporting.
    [8] United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement List of Deaths in ICE Custody Available from: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/reports/detaineedeaths-2003-2017.pdf.
    [9] American Immigration Lawyers Association Deaths at Adult Detention Centers Available from: https://www.aila.org/infonet/deaths-at-adult-detention-centers.
    [10] United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Detention Management Available from: https://www.ice.gov/detain/detention-management#wcm-survey-target-id.
    [11] Department of Homeland Security Immigration Detention The Marshall Project Available from: https://github.com/themarshallproject/dhs_immigration_detention/blob/master/detention.csv.
    [12] Peeler K, Erfani P, Lee C, et al. (2021) Praying for Hand Soap and Masks: Health and Human Rights Violations in U.S. Immigration Detention during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Physicians Hum Rights .
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