ACLU targets Pinal County illegal immigrant detention center as “inhumane”

Posted on June 23, 2011


Like the saying goes, “You know you’re over the target when you start taking flak,” and Sheriff Paul Babeu must be getting some good hits in against ‘immigration activists” lately. 

Why do I say that?  Well, the ACLU, which has been known to support illegal immigrants ,  has issued a report criticizing the Pinal County Adult Detention Center which houses illegal immigrants.   The ACLU calls the treatment of illegals in the detention center, run by Sheriff Babeu’s office, as “inhumane.”

Propagandists that they are, in their report, the ACLU relied solely on the detainees themselves to learn of the supposed problems with the facility.  The sheriff’s office wasn’t even given the opportunity to respond.

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report decrying living conditions and policies for immigrants detained at detention centers in Pinal County.

The union is urging the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cut its contract with the Pinal County Adult Detention Center, citing excessive jail time, inhumane conditions, and sparse legal protection for detainees.

The 36-page report documents more than 100 personal interviews with immigrants behind bars, many of whom have claimed they were held for years without any contact with family and have subsequently developed psychological illnesses.

While awaiting trial proceedings, detainees in Pinal County also complained of no outdoor recreation.
ICE officials said the report publishes “unverified allegations” and that the ACLU did not offer the opportunity to respond to the claims, according to a written statement provided by Vincent Picard, spokesman for the Phoenix ICE office.

“The significant acts of abuse alleged in this report have yet to be formally reported to ICE, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General or any other law enforcement agency,” the ICE statement said.
Officials will investigate the claims, the statement said.

Beyond slamming Sheriff Babeu’s office, you can guess what the other point of  the ACLU’s report is:

Maurice Goldman, a Tucson-based attorney who specializes in immigration law, said he’s witnessed little change regarding consistency among detention centers and accessibility to clients. He has no problem visiting clients at the four jails that are not run by the county. But when he needs to contact a Pinal County Adult Detention Center client, he must give 24 hours notice and has to do business divided by a fiberglass wall.
 
[…]
“The system still needs some serious reformations, such as coming up with better alternatives to detaining,” he said. “We’re still seeing many individuals who should be out in the community but are being held and it’s costing billions of dollars for our government to house them.”

Yes, the solution for this lawyer is just to release all of these illegal immigrants back into the community with just a promise that they will show up for their deportation trial.  

 Of course, all of this may just end up being a moot point given the “stealth DREAM Act” President Obama seems to be pushing now for some illegal immigrants.

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Posted in: Arizona