More than 70 people held at the CoreCivic Otay Mesa immigration detention center in San Diego have signed a letter condemning abuses at the site.
According to Freedom for Immigrants, inmates were faced forced labor, medical neglect, safety issues, racism, and discrimination. One man said he was forced into working extra shifts at the facility for just $1 a day. Another detainee was called a ‘wetback’ by a guard.
“This alarming pattern of neglect and abuse thrives in an environment where secrecy and isolation are the status quo, otherwise known as the U.S. immigration detention system,” said Cynthia Galaz of Freedom for Immigrants.
Herald Mail Media reports:
CoreCivic denied the allegations made about conditions in its facility.
“Otay Mesa opened in 2015 and is a state-of-the art, LEED Silver certified facility that provides a safe, appropriate environment for detainees,” said Amanda Gilchrist, spokeswoman for the company.
“It is independently accredited by the American Correctional Association and is monitored on a daily basis by onsite ICE officials.”
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said that Otay Mesa Detention Center scored 100 percent for the third time in a row on its annual audit last month.
This isn’t the first time CoreCivic has come under fire. Just last week, a group called Detainee Allies issued a report based on dozens of letters they received from detainees.
Forty-nine of the letters reported contaminated or insufficient food, 22 reported medical neglect, 12 reported unsafe working conditions, 16 reported forced labor and wage theft and 12 reported denial of access to mail and phone calls.
Detainee Allies is now lobbying California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to review the Otay Mesa facility. He is due to issue a report to the state legislature about immigration detention conditions in California by March.