ACLU Releases Report on Immigrant Detention in Otero County

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Today, the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights (RCBR) released the report Outsourcing Responsibility: The Human Cost of Privatized Immigration Detention in Otero County detailing inhumane detention practices in the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, N.M. RCBR Program Coordinator Emily Carey, the report’s author, compiled the information from numerous site visits and over 40 interviews with current and past detainees.

Opened in 2008, the Otero facility has the capacity to house up to 1,086 immigrant detainees through an exclusive contract between Otero County and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Contract obligations are fulfilled by a subcontract with a for-profit, private prison company, Management and Training Corporation (MTC), which, in turn, subcontracts with Physicians Network Association (PNA) for health services. Both MTC and PNA have been sued in New Mexico and elsewhere for alleged negligence and deliberate indifference.

In fall of 2008, the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights (ACLU-NM) began to receive complaints from detained immigrants in Otero alleging due process violations and inhumane conditions of confinement. In September 2009, ACLU-NM staff formalized these encounters and conducted a series of in-depth interviews with detained immigrants to better understand the conditions in which they are held. Despite ICE’s announcement in October 2009 to reform the immigration detention system, the ACLU continued its efforts to assess the daily reality of immigrants living in a privately operated facility. Though these findings focus on the Otero County Processing Center, they highlight the civil and human rights violations that often occur when the federal government cedes responsibility for civil immigration detention to private prison management companies. Transparency, oversight and accountability—and ultimately the civil and human rights of immigrants for whom the agency is responsible—are degraded in privatized detention center settings. As ICE continues to work towards reform, the increased reliance on private contractors to manage and operate ICE facilities must be re-evaluated. The voices in this report are indicative of why immigration detention reform was and is necessary, and the continued steps that are needed to ensure humane treatment of immigrants in detention.

There were five general areas of concern addressed in this report: (1) limited access to justice, (2) inadequate conditions of confinement, (3) insufficient medical and mental health care services, (4) extended ill effects on detainee’s family and community, and (5) needed improvements in accountability and oversight.

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6 comments on “ACLU Releases Report on Immigrant Detention in Otero County
  1. maged bebawi says:

    I WAS A DETENTION AT OTERO PROCESSING CENTER IN CHAPARRAL NM 88081 FOR NEARLY THREE (3) YEARS FIGHTING MY CASE I SEEN IT ALL THE ABUSE MEDICAL TREAMENT LACK OF FOOD THE ROOF LEAKING ON US WHEN IT RAINS, I CANT BELIVE THE PLACE IS STILL OPEN IF YOU NEED MY INPUT LET ME KNOW.

  2. JOSE LOPEZ says:

    I WAS AT THIS OTERO PROCESSING CENTER IN NEW MEXICO HELD BY ICE THERE WAS NO CONTROL POOR HOUSEING THEY PUT US IN WAREHOUSE I WAS PUT IN BOX BECAUSE I ASKED FOR TIOELTPAPER YES ITS ALL ON RECORDS AND THE LT. AND SRG. ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE…

  3. Johnn Zechariah says:

    Today is oct 23 2011 and I am still suffering from being at the horrible otero processing center. I was there from June 29 2010 to sept 20 2010. I am a Canadian citizen who was abused and threatened. Like I said it is now october 23 2011 and I still have not recovered

  4. Not only tearing new Mexico families apart, las vegas nevadas familys also,,on Easter Sunday I sent my boyfriend of six years to get dye for the eggs never to return , he got stopped and taken in for a dui bench warrant, mind u he is forty years old now been here for twenty plus years , he was born n brazil happens not to have papers , my god everything and everybody he noes is here , just to take him lock him up like a fucking animal ,from jail to jail to jail, it’s not rite what so ever my daughter just turned eight years couple days ago , she noes him as dad not by blood but by being here for her she only wish for dad come home, I have explain to her that daddy can’t be in r lives for at least couple tears because of some stupid piece of paper, hard to explain sounds ricidiclous really ,how could this be real , I hope that one day very soon no one or there families have to endure so much pain n heartbreak over a piece of paper how could u people who think this is rite sleep at nite. imagine it being other way around and u n their shoes and they n yours as of now I worried I haven’t got a single phone call from marcelino Ortiz Perez in going on three weeks ,last I no he was in chaparral new mexico at a processing center i have put money for him to call me nothing I no sure what’s going on ,I tried calling straight to the jail they were very helpful “yeah rite ” took me four days of calling at least ten tymes per say to get a person to answer just tell me sory u need get that information from the detainee ,I wish I could I’m very concerned for his safety after everything I’ve read about this concentration camp he is being held

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "ACLU Releases Report on Immigrant Detention in Otero County"
  1. […] judges nationwide.  J. Roepke is the sole judge responsible for seeing the detainees from the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico.  Typically detainees with the worst criminal records are sent to Otero, […]

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