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DHS Watchdog Finds Spoiled Food, Nooses at Multiple Immigration Detention Centers
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=45531"><span class="small">Rebekah Entralgo, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Friday, 07 June 2019 12:33

Entralgo writes: "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report Thursday detailing the horrific conditions at immigration detention centers across the United States."

Detention center. (photo: David Mcnew/Getty)
Detention center. (photo: David Mcnew/Getty)

DHS Watchdog Finds Spoiled Food, Nooses at Multiple Immigration Detention Centers

By Rebekah Entralgo, ThinkProgress

07 June 19

The results confirmed suspicions that ICE is routinely violating the human rights of the individuals in its custody.

he Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report Thursday detailing the horrific conditions at immigration detention centers across the United States. Inspectors found “immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards” including nooses in detainee cells, overuse of solitary confinement, and spoiled food, among other issues.

DHS OIG inspected four Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, including the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado, the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, and the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey.

According to the report, the “inspections of the four detention facilities revealed violations of ICE’s detention standards and raised concerns about the environment in which detainees are held.”

OIG described the food service issues at Adelanto and Essex as “egregious.” At Adelanto, “lunch meat and cheese were mixed and stored uncovered in large walk-in refrigerators,” while chicken “smelled foul and appeared to be spoiled.” Food in the freezer was also expired. At Essex, “open packages of raw chicken leaked blood all over refrigeration units” and “lunch meat was slimy, foulsmelling and appeared to be spoiled.”

All of the facilities demonstrated “serious issues with the administrative and disciplinary segregation of detainees” that violate ICE detention standards and infringe on detainee rights, the report read.

The findings confirm what most immigration activist groups and some progressive members of Congress have been clamoring about for months: ICE is routinely violating the human rights of the individuals in its custody.

“The report’s findings reveal that issues in ICE detention are not isolated — they are systemic,” Freedom for Immigrants, a non-profit that has been monitoring the conditions at Adelanto and other ICE facilities for years, said in a statement. “And yet, not one single entity in this detention apparatus is ever held accountable for these human rights violations. This is outrageous. More and more evidence points to the fact that ICE and private prison companies like GEO are incapable of providing for the well-being of immigrants. That’s why we must abolish detention. It’s time to implement humane community-based alternatives that treat people with dignity and respect.”

While ICE standards require facilities to place detainees in disciplinary segregation only after they have committed a prohibited act, Adelanto, Essex, and Aurora punished immigrant detainees with solitary confinement for unproven disciplinary violations. Detainees in solitary were found to have limited access to recreation and even showers despite ICE standards mandating that individuals have access to these basic resources.

At the facility’s bathrooms, OIG observed mold throughout all the walls in the bathroom area, including ceilings, vents, mirrors, and shower stalls. Prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can lead to allergic reactions and long-term health issues.

Immigrants in detention are required to receive toiletries including including shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, and soap. At Essex, however, detainees reported not having received any toiletries. Staff at the facility told inspectors that toiletries must be purchased through the commissary, which is against ICE standards.

At Aurora, visitation rooms go unused. DHS OIG found that while the facility is capable of hosting in-person visitation, it only allows “non-contact visits” — even to children and family.

ICE standards mandate “that detainees shall be able to maintain morale and ties through visitation with their families, the community, legal representatives and consular officials, within the constraints of the safety, security and good order of the facility.”

Three of the four detention centers that were inspected are operated by GEO Group, a private prison company that contracts with the federal government.

GEO Group, among other similar companies like CoreCivic, has greatly benefited from the Trump administration’s increase in immigration enforcement. ICE is detaining more people than ever before, a record-breaking 52,000, and GEO Group is making money off of it. Just this week the private prison company announced a 314 bed expansion at the Montgomery Processing Center in Conroe, Texas. The expansion would bring the total bed count to 1,314. The company is expected to rake in $10 million as a result.

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Last Updated on Friday, 07 June 2019 12:45


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+16 # chapdrum 2019-06-07 12:55
The Family Values Party in control.
Then, now and always: a sheer fraud.
+11 # DongiC 2019-06-07 17:11
No Matter how bad conditions get in the detention centers, American companies can still make profits. After all, isn't that what its all about? Profits. That's the real deity of the present American civilization, just ask the immigrants. They might have thought that Americans were like human beings. Wow. What a mistake.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-08 06:20
DC -- you are so right. That's what DHS was set up to do -- help private contractors make a lot of money.
+16 # wilhelmscream 2019-06-07 17:24
They’re modern day Concentration Camps and, they need to be shut down and BANNED in all forms by the UN (if it’s not already) also, prohibited by the US Constitution!!
+5 # treerapper 2019-06-08 00:35
The white male European mentality, aka The Gestapo, at work. And this, my good Americans, is all in our name. ICE is us - our taxes, our "Public Servants", our military - all inflicting absolute misery on the least of us. The most important part of this us is the CHRISTIAN US - Evangelicals, Tea Party people - all GOD-fearing, devout terrorists,

What I would like to know is if these Bible-carrying miscreants have read the book they cram down everyone's throat and they have even a remote sense of Jesus, where did all this hatred of one's fellow man come from? Surely you cannot do what is being done to these migrants if you do not despise them? If one is so damned GOD-fearing, where does this murderous, abusive, disdainful and hateful behavior originate? And, why do all these haters work for ICE, occupy our Congress, run our Military and sit in the White House?

Who are WE, as a People, that we can actually live with what we are doing to other living beings?
+2 # tshobie 2019-06-08 03:50
This failure at the border is just a reflection of the failure of the Trump administration. Heartbreaking that the victims are children and families.

Hitler would be proud of German Trumps (Drumpf). Chips off the old racist block.
A sad time to be an American.
+2 # elizabethblock 2019-06-08 05:50
Private prisons are a moral hazard - they profit from people being unfairly (or illegally) detained.
+1 # elizabethblock 2019-06-08 06:00
NOOSES in detainee cells? Are they encouraging people to kill themselves?
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-08 06:18
DHS has always been a corrupt and terribly managed agency. It is half about propaganda and the other half about passing lucrative contracts to private companies who take the money but don't do the work -- as in the case above.

We all remember the DHS fiasco in New Orleans when Bush said of his DHS secretary, "you are doing a heck of a job, Brownie." DHS always does a heck of a job.

It is time to shut down DHS. It was a creation of the hysteria of the post-911 days, when all kinds of very stupid new programs were instituted. The Patriot Act, the AUMF, and DHS are the three worst and they should all be dumped.

Dumping bad post-911 government structure should be the oversight mission of the US congress. It should forget Russiagate and impeachment and clean out the waste, fraud, and abuse that is DHS and the rest of the post-911 madness.
+1 # dotlady 2019-06-08 09:11
A Constitution requires the agreement of most of the population with its aims and a promise, unspoken, to uphold it as the basis for national life. It also seems that American, by acquiescing to a criminal government ushered in by the very format in the Constitution, have agreed that the Constitution is no longer in operation.
+1 # coberly 2019-06-08 10:06
Bastille Day is coming up.
+1 # coberly 2019-06-08 12:02

re comment on impeachment: ignoring congress power of purse by phony emergency. concentration camps at border, etc. no doubt there are weasel arguments against this, but you never know till you try.