More than 70 detainees condemn conditions in San Diego immigration facility


Greater than 70 individuals held at Otay Mesa Detention Middle while they await immigration courtroom hearings have signed a letter decrying circumstances on the facility.

The letter, written in December, alleges that detainees have experienced medical neglect, questions of safety and racism and discrimination, in response to Freedom For Immigrants, the group to whom the letter was addressed. The detainees additionally stated that their complaints were not being heard at the facility.

“I used to be the item of indifference and medical negligence,” one of the males wrote. “I’m experiencing very dangerous ache in my left ear and I don’t really feel okay because of the poor attention.”

One other detainee reported being referred to as a “wetback” by one of the guards at the facility owned and operated by personal prison firm CoreCivic.

“This alarming sample of neglect and abuse thrives in an setting the place secrecy and isolation are the established order, in any other case often known as the U.S. immigration detention system,” stated Cynthia Galaz of Freedom For Immigrants.

One of the detainees who signed the letter referred to as Galaz just lately to tell her that he’s been pressured to work additional shifts for the power’s program that pays $1 per day.

CoreCivic denied the allegations made about circumstances in its facility.

“Otay Mesa opened in 2015 and is a state-of-the artwork, LEED Silver certified facility that provides a protected, applicable setting for detainees,” stated Amanda Gilchrist, spokeswoman for the corporate. “It is independently accredited by the American Correctional Affiliation and is monitored each day by onsite ICE officers.”

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official stated that Otay Mesa Detention Middle scored one hundred pc for the third time in a row on its annual audit last month.

It’s not the primary time that detainees and the organizations that advocate for them have made such claims concerning the San Diego facility. A report just final week based mostly on letters sent to a Del Cerro-based mostly group referred to as Detainee Allies between July and November of last yr makes comparable allegations.

Forty-9 letters acquired by Detainee Allies reported contaminated or inadequate food, 22 reported medical neglect, 12 reported unsafe working circumstances, 16 reported pressured labor and wage theft and 12 reported denial of entry to mail and telephone calls.

These letters got to San Diego State University and revealed last week in an internet archive.

The report calls on California Lawyer Basic Xavier Becerra to assessment the power. He’s required to release a report back to the state legislature about immigration detention circumstances within the state by March.



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