Treatment of mothers and children... Re: Artesia, NM detention center
frontera- Below is a report from Taylor Levy, certified representative for immigration proceedings with Las Americas in El Paso.
I am part of the legal team going to Artesia. I wanted to share with the list some information about the ways in which we heard the mothers and children were treated in response to the protest on Sunday. __________________________________________ E
very mother and child I have spoken too says the same thing to me--that the women and children were physically pushed into the dorms during the protest while (some) of the ICE guards screamed things at them such as "fucking bitches" and "whores." Some women and children were even pushed into the ground. One woman described that an officer pushed a heavy metal door handle into her back so hard she was worries about ongoing damage. Another described to me the case of a special-needs 6-year-old who was pushed to the ground after becoming upset that an officer was screaming in his mother's face.
The women and children were then locked in their dorms for hours and denied their normal late afternoon snack, routine phone calls, and even normal access to the bathrooms (some mothers spoke of being denied bathroom privileges altogether). The officers then conducted a retaliatory search (which one officer called a "shakedown" in a room full of lawyers) in which detainee belongings, bedding, and mattresses were tossed on the floor. "Contraband" items were seized, including smuggled crayons, fruit, and small toys (all are which prohibited in the dorms/"units"). These items were taking in front of frightened, crying children--the average age in the facility is 6.5 years old. Virtually every mother we speak to speaks to us about verbal mistreatment, sick, depressed & bored children who have lost several pounds each, undercooked/raw food, and abysmal access to medical care. One mother described that the only way she has been able to treat her toddler's inconsolable tooth pain is via broken remnants of a single acetaminophen pill smuggled out in the mouth of a mother permitted two pills a day for a chronic medical condition--this mother makes due with less