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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GROUPS PROTEST CONDITIONS AT LOUISIANA DETENTION FACILITY

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The ACLU has sent a letter to DHS Secretary Napolitano describing a hunger strike and claiming that solitary confinement is being used to punish detained immigrants who complain:

According to the letter, "[n]ot only have a large number of detainees filed
grievances and requested meetings with jail and ICE staff, detainees have
launched four hunger strikes to obtain basic necessities like soap, toilet
paper, communication with their families, and information about their legal
cases. In the face of this human rights work and peaceful action, ICE and jail
staff have responded with aggressive disciplinary action including blocking
detainees' access to legal representatives."

Over 100 detainees from over 10 countries have served as human rights
monitors exposing inhumane conditions at the facility. Six of those detainees
who acted as human rights monitors in the detention center and who were
perceived as leaders of the hunger strike have been sentenced to 60 days in
solitary confinement after attempting to communicate grievances to ICE or jail
staff, according to the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice.

"Solitary confinement as punishment for speaking out about human rights
abuses is unconstitutional and unconscionable," said Rabinovitz. "Until there is
outside oversight and monitoring of the prisons where immigration detainees are
held, detainees have no choice but to speak up for themselves."

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