Appeals Court: Prison Forced Labor Covers 60,000 Detainees -

Appeals Court: Prison Forced Labor Covers 60,000 Detainees

  • Published on
    February 9, 2018
  • Written by:
    Jamison Liang
  • Category:
    Forced Labor, Law & Policy
Hero Banner

A federal appeals court in Colorado has ruled that a lawsuit brought by nine immigrant detainees alleging forced labor in a detention facility can represent a class of 60,000 others who were detained at the site.

In its decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that all of the immigrants held at a privately contracted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in the past ten years should be represented by the suit.

Geo Group, Inc., the private company contracted by ICE to operate the Colorado detention center, has repeatedly denied claims of forced labor.

NPR reports:

The detainees allege that the company enacts a mandatory “Housing Unit Sanitation Policy” under which detainees are forced to clean for no pay “under the threat of solitary confinement as punishment for any refusal to work.”

Under a separate “Voluntary Work Program,” detainees are paid $1 a day for jobs such as painting, serving food, cutting hair, and cleaning clothes and bathrooms.

The detainees argue that the work requirements violate the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which prohibits forced labor and a Colorado state law barring “unjust enrichment.”

However, the appeals court did not specifically say if the detainees as a class will succeed with their suit when the case returns to the lower court.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

How much does it cost to keep an immigrant felon in a prison? They want to be paid for cleaning after themselves?

This week

Migrant workers jailed in Qatar over demands for owed wages

Five months on from the World Cup final, migrant workers continue to report exploitative labor practices and mistreatment at the hands of Qatari authorities. Three former security guards have been jailed in Qatar for four months following their repeated requests for unpaid wages from their employer, Stark Security Services. Though lauded by FIFA as an opportunity to improve Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, workers who toiled to make the world’s

| Friday May 26, 2023

Read more