AURORA, Colo. – Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulder) want a congressional oversight hearing for the company that manages the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Aurora, calling medical care at the ICE facilities "woefully inadequate."
The request – written in a letter Tuesday from Neguse to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee – comes as ICE raids are planned in Denver and other U.S. cities in the coming weeks and as the crisis of migrant children at the border has returned to the spotlight.
Crow, who represents the district where the ICE facility is located, partnered with Neguse on the request for a hearing, his office said in a news release.
Neguse and Crow want the subcommittee to hold an oversight hearing for the The GEO Group, the largest private prison company in the U.S. that operates the Aurora facility and other ICE detention centers. Neguse's letter said "there are continuing reports of substandard medical care impacting both the physical and mental well-being" of people at the Aurora facility and that several infectious diseases have broken out at the facility this year.
Neguse said 150 people at the facility are under quarantine because of the outbreaks, preventing them from meeting with their lawyers or attending court dates.
ICE officials deferred comment to The GEO Group. A spokesman for the company said in a statement: “We have never been contacted by the Congressman. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with him and his staff to discuss his concerns and tour the facility.”
Neguse said the Aurora facility recently was expanded from 1,100 beds to 1,500 beds. Three detainees escaped from the facility earlier this month before they were arrested after several days on the run.