Horrible Conditions of Migrant Facility: “Not Suitable for Humans”

"More than 100 illegal immigrants apprehended by Rio Grande Valley Agents" (United States government work) by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Two letters were sent to the Department of Homeland Security by the Southeast Immigration Freedom Initiative of Louisiana. The letters contain reports of “abuses” and “inhumane conditions” experienced by asylum seekers. 

Asylum-seekers reported “abuses” and “inhumane conditions”

An asylum seeker detained for 46 days in Louisiana’s Winn Correctional Center gave an account of the disturbing conditions he experienced. 

The recently paroled detainee who opts not to use his name said that he witnessed “horrible conditions” that were “not suitable for humans”.

The asylum seeker spoke over the phone with NBC News as he recounted his experience. He said that there was very little food given to them. There’s also lack of toilets; there’s not access to hot water and they are subjected to extremely cold temperatures inside the correctional center. 

“210317_PX819-H-444” (United States government work) by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The former detainee also stated that at one point, there was a protest that broke out inside the facility due to the conditions that they were subjected to. As a result, men were pepper-sprayed. 

He then added that he begged the agents to take him out of the room since he cannot breathe, due to his asthma. However, the agents allegedly left him there and one man fainted in front of him. The detainee said he was from Cuba and made his way to the U.S.-Mexico border from Guyana. 

The detainee also added that access to medical care was hard. He stated that whenever he would ask for a medical appointment in relation to his asthma, he waited for five days before he could see a doctor. 

According to the letters sent to Homeland Security, at least one detainee was rushed to the hospital after he attempted to commit suicide. There are reports that other detainees are also contemplating taking their life as well. 

Immigration attorneys have a long list of grievances

Meanwhile, immigration attorneys added a long list of grievances. Including among them were units for 44 people that only have one urinal, two showers, and two toilets. There’s also an incident when a live cockroach was allegedly found by a detainee in his food.

Hunger strikes also broke out to the conditions at the facility. Yet, it resulted to the use of pepper spray. The letters also cited racist language used by guards in the facilities against the detainees. 

The letter also described the experience of one detainee who was handcuffed and forced to the ground with his face against the floor. The detainee allegedly repeatedly said that he could not breathe and believed that the knee of the officer was pressing against his neck. 

The detainee was then placed in isolation, where he tried to commit suicide. He was later on deported. 

One detainee also overheard guards referring to them as “illegal dogs” and “dumb a—-“.

An attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mich Gonzalez, said that that is why they were calling Mayorkas to promptly end all contracts with Winn and start an investigation. 

Gonzalez added that the population size in the detention centers jumped to around 6,000 from around 1,000 detainees several months ago. 

The uptick in numbers is due to various reasons. One is the increase in illegal immigration and migration patterns.