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Immigration detention problems apparent in Georgia and beyond

Hunger strikes and class action lawsuits are among recent reactions to apparent atrocities experienced by many immigrants detained in Georgia and other states. A class action claim has been filed against U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding allegedly filthy conditions in immigration detention centers. A border patrol's treatment of immigrants in its custody has also been called into question.

Photographs containing images of unsanitary conditions in detainment centers have been brought to a federal court's attention. Used toilet tissue lying in heaps on the floor and a water fountain installed directly above a commode were mentioned among other poor conditions listed in various facilities. An attorney working as an advocate for several immigrants stated that the ill-treatment rendered toward detainees by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is simply inexcusable.

Regardless of legal status, immigrants are protected by certain constitutional rights that some say have been stripped from them in light of recent substandard conditions in detention facilities. It is also alleged that some immigrants were held in sub-freezing temperatures with pleas for blankets and clothing ignored by officials. In addition to a class action lawsuit, immigrants from Georgia to the West Coast have initiated hunger strikes over the past 12 months as protests against despicable conditions in holding centers throughout the nation.

In March 2016, the Department of Homeland Security conducted unannounced inspections of immigration detention centers. Results from those visits have yet to be published. Any immigrant in need of guidance regarding how best to proceed in the face of ill-treatment in a detention facility may contact an immigration and naturalization attorney for assistance.

Source: latinpost.com, "Arizona Judge Demands 'Filthy' Immigration Detention Center Pictures be Released", Jose Serrano, July 4, 2016

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