Friday, May 23, 2014
Lawsuit Filed Over Border Detention Conditions: Quiñones Flores v. USA -- Detention in Hieleras (Freezers)
LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom Immigration Law reports that Americans for Immigrants Justice (AI Justice) and Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A., filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Easterm District of New York against Customs & Border Protection (CBP) for its mistreatment of Alba, a 28 year old immigrant woman who fled to the U.S. seeking asylum. CBP held her in inhumane conditions in detention cells along the U.S./Mexico border in CBP's Rio Grande Valley sector. Flores v. U.S. The facilities, where detainees are supposed to be held no more than 12-24 hours, are commonly known as "hieleras," the Spanish word for "freezers." CBP agents and detainees alike call them hieleras because of the frigid temperatures at which the holding facilities are maintained. Detainees in the hieleras are routinely denied adequate meals, access to clean drinking water, and to basic hygiene products such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and sanitary napkins.
UPDATE (May 23, 3 p.m. PST): This seems to be a bad news day for fans of immigrant detention, with reports of detention overcrowding at the McAllen Station in Texas and an AILA blog post on "The Sorry State of Immigration Jails" (and a video).