Yesterday, New York Times reporter Nina Bernstein put a light on the shocking underbelly of immigration in America. Her Pulitzer-worthy article revealed a tragic and still largely untold story of the government’s stone-cold indifference in the unknown events leading to the death of Boubacar Bah, a tailor from Guinea who overstayed his visa. How could our government do this? How could the immigration authorites (in cooperation with a private outsourcing company specializing in the incarceration of immigrants) fail to communicate with Mr. Bah’s family for five days while he lay comatose and shackled in a hospital bed, and hospital officials considered him a candidate for organ donation? Mr. Bah is but one of the 66 immigrants from 2004 to November 2007 who died in immigration custody.
Why did Mr. Bah and these others die? Congress and the Inspector General of the Homeland Security Department must investigate. If wrongdoing is found, responsible persons up the chain of command must be held accountable. America is better than this.