Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Private Detention CEOs Tell Congress They Had No Clue Guards Pepper-Sprayed Hundreds of Immigration Detainees



Noah Lanard for Mother Jones reports that private prison executives claimed at a House Subcommittee on Border Security yesterday to be unaware of recent instances of guards pepper-spraying immigrant detainees at the facilities they run. Lanard states that "[i]t was a shocking claim: Detainees have been pepper-sprayed on more than a dozen occasions since late March, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s own press office has confirmed many of the incidents the CEOs say they know nothing about."

The hearing focused on the conditions in private immigration detention centers during the coronavirus pandemic. One question from Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) to four executives cut to the chase:  “So no one is aware of any time that rubber bullets, or pepper spray, or tear gas has been used by officers at your facilities against detainees since the COVID-19 pandemic?” he asked. “Are you all categorically denying it?”



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