Unconstitutional Conditions in Border Patrol Facilities
Newly released graphic images offer a rare glimpse at the unconstitutional conditions that men, women, and children are subjected to in notoriously problematic Border Patrol facilities.
Ex. 173. Undated; Tucson facility; men wrapped in Mylar sheets lying and sitting on concrete floor and benches, including near trash can and toilet area; cell so crowded there is not enough room for all to lie down.
Ex. 170. Aug. 2015. Tucson facility; two crowded cells with men wrapped in Mylar sheets while other cells sit empty; no mats provided to men, despite unused mats in empty cells; jugs of water sitting in toilet areas.
Ex. 159. June 2015. Nogales facility; men pacing in cell at 2:21 am.
Ex. 158. June 2015. Nogales facility; men sleeping on concrete or wooden benches, and on concrete floor; some have Mylar sheets; water jug and cups next to trash can.
Ex. 156. Sep. 2015. Naco facility; adults and children in cell without mats; some with Mylar sheets; trash on concrete floor.
Ex. 155. Aug. 2015. Naco facility; men resting on concrete benches and floor, some with Mylar sheets; no mats available.
Ex. 152. Sep. 2015. Douglas facility; men sleeping on the concrete floor and benches, some near the bathroom; several men crowded under one Mylar sheet; trash strewn on the floor.
Ex. 148. Sep. 2015. Douglas facility; woman changing a child’s diaper on top of Mylar sheets on concrete floor in trash-strewn cell.
Ex. 147. Sep. 2015. Douglas facility; individuals not provided enough mats despite additional mats available in nearby, empty cells.
Ex. 146. Sep. 2015. Douglas facility; women and children in cell; some with mats, others with only Mylar sheets; child crawling on concrete floor.
Ex. 145. Sep. 2015. Douglas facility; female and children wrapped in Mylar sheets; not enough mats for all; child crawling on concrete floor near bathroom.
Ex. 130. July 2015. Casa Grande facility; men wrapped in Mylar sheets sleeping on the concrete floors and benches; man drinking water directly out of a jug, shared by many detainees.
Ex. 188. Aug. 2015. Tucson facility; individuals wrapped in Mylar sheets sleep on the concrete floor and benches; cell so crowded there is no room to move around.
Ex. 186. Sep. 2015. Tucson facility; men wrapped in Mylar sheets sleep on the concrete floor and benches in crowded cells while other cells sit empty; water jugs sit near toilets.
Ex. 185. Aug. 2015. Tucson facility; men sitting and lying on concrete floor and benches, wrapped in Mylar sheets in crowded cell.
The federal district court in Tucson, Arizona, has released revealing documents and photographic evidence submitted as part of our petition for preliminary relief in the case of Doe v. Johnson, a legal challenge to detention conditions in the short-term facilities, commonly known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, in the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector. These photographs illustrate the deplorable and inhumane conditions in which Border Patrol keeps tens of thousands of men, women, and children each year.
Above is a sample of the photographs released by the court. These photographs are stills from surveillance video taken at these facilities. Descriptions of the horrific conditions by detainees can be found at www.nilc.org/jdoe1vjohnsondecs/.
Expert witnesses who filed declarations about the conditions in these facilities include a forensic sanitarian with almost 50 years of experience in corrections, a medical doctor with 28 years of experience as director/medical director for jail health services, and a former corrections administrator with nearly 35 years of experience working in and administering adult and juvenile institutions.
On Aug. 17, 2016, we and our partners filed a motion for preliminary injunction and issued a joint statement about the photos that the court released. More information about the case is available at www.nilc.org/jdoe1vjohnson/.