Lawsuit exposes detention conditions

In Lawsuit Says Migrants Subjected To Dirty Detention Facilities, Bad Food And Water, NPR reports:

Migrants detained in recent months at the U.S.-Mexico border describe being held in Customs and Border Protection facilities that are unsanitary and overcrowded, receiving largely inedible food and being forced to drink foul-smelling drinking water.

Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California and viewed by NPR late Tuesday contain interviews with some 200 individuals detained under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, many of whom related poor conditions at the centers.

The documents are part of a long-running lawsuit that resulted in the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement. They were filed on the migrants’ behalf by the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, which is demanding that the government meet minimum standard conditions as laid out in the Flores agreement. The Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment.

The documents contain the stories of migrants arriving mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who were detained at various locations at different times, including one facility referred to by several interviewees as the “Dog House” or “Dog Pound,” and another as the “Ice House.” Last names of detained interviewees have been redacted.

“On the second or third day there, my daughter soiled herself … I asked if I could clean her because her underwear [was] soiled,” Fatima said. “The guards said, ‘No.’ … She remained in her dirty underwear until we arrived at Dilley [Texas] several days later.”

Several of the interviewees complained about the lack of, or poor quality of, drinking water and many others said they were offered sandwiches that were frozen solid, appeared to be spoiled or that they otherwise found inedible.

“[T]he worst thing was the water,” said Delmis V. of Honduras, the mother of a two-year-old boy. “I had to plug my nose to be able to drink it. It came out of the faucet and smelled terrible.”

Mayra S., the mother of children aged 2 and 9 years, said she “begged for water” for her daughter but was refused. “My daughter started crying. The officers told me to shut up.”

Iris A. was one of several who complained about getting “frozen” food that she said “smelled bad” and was “not fit for consumption.” Another said lettuce was “black.”

Others complained about sleeping in cold rooms or of several people being jammed into a small room without enough mattresses.

Read on for more and be sure to share what is being done in our name with everyone you know.