Immigrants Citing ‘Horrific Conditions’ in Texas Sue For Release

August 14, 2019by Gerald Porter Jr.
Migrants seeking asylum turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents on the El Paso side of the Rio Grande bordering Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in El Paso, Texas, on March 27, 2019. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Immigrants along the Texas-Mexico border, citing indefinite detention in “horrific conditions,” have asked a federal judge to order the U.S. to improve the conditions, give them access to lawyers and release them after 72 hours.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection “has intentionally packed these people into filthy holding cells for lengthy periods of time, where they routinely sleep on concrete floors or concrete benches and are denied access to adequate food, water, medical and sanitation facilities,” according to the complaint, filed Monday in federal court in Brownsville, Texas.

The administration has pursued an increasingly aggressive course on immigrants from Latin America, staging workplace raids right after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that targeted Latinos and, more recently, proposing rule changes for green card applications that would favor wealthier applicants. Last month it moved to narrow protections for asylum-seekers if their relatives have a criminal history.

The conditions at U.S. detention facilities along the southern border have been the subject of intense scrutiny. In recent months, at least seven children in CPB custody have died, the petition says.

The case is Gonzalez-Recinos v. McAleenan, 19-cv-95, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Brownsville).

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