We reported two weeks ago that major questions existed about conditions for immigrant detainees held in south Texas detention centers after Hurricane Dolly caused damage to the region. It appears that many of our fears may have been well founded.
While the roofs of Management and Training Corporation's "Tent City" detention center did not blow off, approximately 3,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees were evacuated from south Texas in the run-up to Hurricane Dolly - approximately 1,200 from the Port Isabel Detention Center and 2,000 from the Willacy Detention Center in Raymondville. About 1,000 detainees at Willacy who are held in "firm structures" were not evacuated. The detainees were evacuated all over the country, many to the Otero detention center in New Mexico, but also to Houston, Laredo, Huntsville, Florence, AZ, Miami, and Orlando.
We've heard reports that detainees shipped to Otero have been sleeping on the floor there, the roof is leaking, the facility has run out of food at times and that not enough food is being served to detainees, phone cards are not provided for calls, that pens and paper must be purchased from commissary, and that access to the library is denied. There are also significant concerns about access to legal representation as many detainees have been separated from their lawyers during key times in their case, and detainees are being denied confidential phone calls to attorneys.
We'll keep you updated on reports on the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly and the evacuated detainees.