Anonymous complaints detailing abuses in federal prisons where immigrants are being held are on the rise. Dozens of cases of scabies and chicken pox have been reported in the federal prison of Victorville, California, where more than 600 undocumented people are jailed.
Francisco Cuevas reports for Noticiero Telemundo:
“The situation is so worrisome that staff from that federal prison have made anonymous complaints. Many of the immigrants held in Victorville’s prison are detained for long periods of time in their cells, without access to open air, and with very few changes of clothes. Cases of scabies and chicken pox have already been reported.”
Lisette Mendoza of the organization, Justice for the Immigrant, confirmed that they had received complaints of all kinds: “Not even in their own countries, where they are fleeing violence, do they think this can happen,” Mendoza told Noticiero Telemundo.
Watch the Spanish report here:
Children released from detention centers are opening up to the media about the traumatic conditions in children centers.
Alison Valencia, the young girl who was separated from her mother and held in detention, told Noticiero Telemundo that she and the other detained children would be awakened very early, and “it was very cold.” Alison’s mother said that her young daughter came from the detention center with dandruff and head lice.
According to the Immigration Service, more than 650 immigrants are being held in Victorville, the same place where workers had expressed concerns over previous cases of scabies and chickenpox. Lisette Mendoza’s Justice for the Immigrant/Justicia para El Inmigrante is asking for the immediate release of the 650 undocumented migrants so they can fight their immigration cases from the outside.
In “The Tried and True Alternatives to Detaining Immigrant Families,” the ACLU, spells out the humane alternative to jail for immigrants waiting to fight their cases with lawyers and in the courts:
“Rather than jailing families who are in deportation proceedings, the government should release anyone who is not a flight risk, or whose flight risk can be mitigated by an alternative to detention. Such alternatives are designed to ensure court appearance and compliance with any final court orders, but they do even more — they allow families to live outside prison walls while their case moves through the system. That allows them to more easily find an attorney and prepare their defense — and non-detained immigrants with legal representation are far more likely to win legal relief. It also means that parents can raise their own children as normally as possible, limiting the long-term trauma to the family.”