Immigration

On anniversary of Hiu Lui Ng death, inmate neglect continues to plague Wyatt Detention Center

A federal judge ultimately insisted that Hiu Lui Ng be given the care he was pleading for. It was determined that he was suffering from untreated, terminal liver cancer and a broken spine. Hiu Lui Ng died five days later.
Photo for On anniversary of Hiu Lui Ng death, inmate neglect continues to plague Wyatt Detention Center

Published on August 10, 2022
By Steve Ahlquist

Two dozen people gathered outside the Wyatt Detention Center on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the torture and death of Hiu Lui Ng in the prison in 2008. Organized by AMOR RI (Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia), the peaceful demonstration lasted about an hour and featured a “noise demo” to let people inside the prison know that they had supporters outside.

Organizers presented the story of Hiu Lui Ng imprisonment and death at the hands of Wyatt officials.

“Hiu Lui Ng came to New York from Hong Kong with his parents and younger sister in 1992 at the age of 17,” said organizers to the crowd. “He grew up to become a computer engineer with a job in the Empire State Building. He had a wife and two children that he was raising in Queens, New York.”

It was in 2001, when Hiu Lui Ng was in the final stages of adjusting his immigration status that he missed a meeting with immigration officials. The notice to appear was sent to the wrong address, and Hiu Lui Ng had no idea he missed a meeting. He was arrested in 2007 and detained at the Wyatt.

After nearly a year inside the Wyatt, Hiu Lui Ng started to complain about intense back pain. Prison authorities accused him of faking it. Despite his pain and inability to walk, immigration officials brought him to New York where Hiu Lui Ng was pressured to renounce all legal avenues to stay in the United States. Some believe that the long, painful trip was organized as a form of torture to get Hiu Lui Ng to comply.

A federal judge ultimately insisted that Hiu Lui Ng be given the care he was pleading for. It was determined that he was suffering from untreated, terminal liver cancer and a broken spine. Hiu Lui Ng died five days later.

His treatment by Wyatt authorities resulted in Immigration authorities cancelling their contract with the Wyatt. The head of the Wyatt Board at the time said that he didn’t care if Wyatt was Guantanamo, as long as he had bodies in beds.

Only a few short years ago, immigration decided to once again start placing detainees at the Wyatt. Since then, we have learned that Wyatt officials did not take Covid seriously, resulting in unneeded suffering. More recently we learned that the Wyatt has, for the entirety of existence, forced people with opioid use disorder into withdrawal without medical intervention, another form of torture.

Despite all this, James Lombardi III, the current head of the Wyatt Board who also serves as Providence Treasurer, is confident he can get the Wyatt on solid financial ground, death and torture be damned.

It’s time to close the Wyatt.

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