WASHINGTON—Defending the law enforcement agency from criticism about detaining thousands of people who had been living or seeking asylum in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials argued Tuesday that migrants in their camps are free to die at any time. “It’s been our position from the beginning that if anyone we’ve detained doesn’t like it here, they’re welcome to drop dead,” said ICE acting director Mark Morgan, adding that accusations about poor conditions at the agency’s facilities completely ignored the fact that migrants were categorically permitted to expire at any time of their choosing. “Don’t point fingers at us, okay? If migrants want to go meet their maker, that’s their prerogative. That’s our policy for any detained migrant, no matter their status or age—they all have free rein to perish from this earth at any moment and return to dust. No one’s keeping them alive here.” Morgan backed up his assertions by noting that several detained migrants had chosen to die already and the agency hadn’t lifted a finger to stop them.

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