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California AG audit shows poor conditions for immigrant detainees

More deficiencies in the Trump Administration's handling of immigrant detainees were revealed in a report by the Office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The audit of immigrant detention centers was begun about a year ago, and its findings provide a deeper look into the treatment of immigrants awaiting a determination of their deportation status.

According to the report, which was intended to obtain information about every day operations at the detention centers, 74,000 immigrant detainees from more than 150 countries have been imprisoned at the 10 public and private detention centers in California. All of the centers were inspected by the attorney general's office. The average length of confinement for an individual was more than 50 days. One person was reported to have been kept in a detention center for more than four years.

The audit found that conditions differed widely from center to center, but all centers were reported to have detained persons for lengthy periods - often up to 22 hours a day - with no breaks of any kind. Also, detainees were allowed little contact with friends and families. According to Atty. Gen. Becerra, the persons in the detention centers are civilian detainees and not convicted or accused criminals. Detainees in all centers reported difficulty in obtaining adequate medical care and legal services. A lack of bilingual staffers also hindered the detainees in asking for and receiving necessary care. Conditions at a youth center near Yoho as "soul crushing."

The audit was commissioned by a bill passed during the 2017 legislative session. Immigration advocates hailed the report as validating the concerns that they have expressed repeatedly. Others criticized the report because advance notice of inspectors' visits was given to all facilities, giving the administrators a chance to spruce up the facility and hide some violations.

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Phone: 818-647-1002
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