Week of Hell: Dozens of African Detainees Allege Serial Abuse and Hate Crimes at Notorious Private Immigration Jail

Late last month, roughly 80 immigrant men from Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan arrived at a remote, for-profit detention center in West Texas to await deportation. In the week that followed, the men were pepper-sprayed, beaten, threatened, taunted with racial slurs, and subjected to sexual abuse. The treatment they endured amounted to multiple violations of federal law and grave human rights abuses — and it all happened over the course of a single week. These are the findings of chilling new report by a collection of Texas-based legal advocacy groups.

The alleged abuse was so grave that advocates for the men have now filed a series of complaints with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and local authorities calling for investigations into what happened behind the locked doors of the detention facility. According to the advocates, the U.S. attorney’s office has forwarded those complaints, which included alleged hate crimes perpetrated by detention center guards, to the FBI.

The alleged abuse was so grave that advocates for the men have now filed a series of complaints with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and local authorities.

The detention center in question, known as the West Texas Detention Facility, is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a for-profit outfit that, according to its website, “manages 18 facilities with a total inmate capacity of over 13,000 and leases one facility to a law enforcement agency.” The report, published Thursday, provides a jarring glimpse inside the world of privatized immigrant detention, which the Trump administration is seeking to expand. The allegations bear disturbing similarities to other abuse claims made by detainees of African descent in recent weeks.

Compiled by the Texas A&M University School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic, and RAICES, a Texas-based legal organization, the report is based on interviews with 30 Somali men who described their experiences at the West Texas Detention Facility from February 23 to March 2 of this year. The report points to consistent accounts of detention center personnel, including the warden of the facility, all of whom are contractors under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, engaging in deeply abusive practices.

The post Week of Hell: Dozens of African Detainees Allege Serial Abuse and Hate Crimes at Notorious Private Immigration Jail appeared first on The Intercept.

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