A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union claims illegal immigrants held in several Georgia detention centers are being mistreated.
The report, “Prisoners of Profit: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia,” alleges the undocumented immigrants, many of whom are allegedly being held on minor immigration violations, are being mistreated while they are detained. The 182-page report’s information on the detention facilities was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act as well as interviews and tours of Georgia’s four privately-run immigration detention facilities, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Some of the maltreatment the immigrants are reported to be experiencing is lack of proper healthcare, physical and mental abuse and extreme hygiene concerns – several women claim they were forced to wear “soiled” underwear during their stay. Some detainees are also claiming lack of pro-bono assistance and being forced to sign “Stipulated Orders of Removal,” which would deport them without going to trial.
The report is revealed at a time when many are debating whether the treatment of immigrants without U.S. citizenship is fair. Many advocates have spoken out against the mistreatment of immigrants inside and outside of the system. Two of the hot topics are the Secure Communities program and the Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, which is deemed by some to generate more racial profiling against Latinos.
Azadeh Shahshahani, Immigrants’ Rights Project Director with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Georgia, said the claims in the report cannot be ignored, according to the ACLU.
“This report documents serious abuses in Georgia detention centers requiring immediate action,” Shahshahani said. “The conditions documented by the ACLU of Georgia violate detainees’ constitutional and human rights as well as ICE standards.”
However, despite the reports, many of the individuals in charge of the facilities are claiming the reports to be fabricated and are dismissing them. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials could not be reached for comment, according to the Los Angeles Times.