I'm from India...they will execute me if I were to be sent back, but nobody cares. Where do I go from here? I'm only twenty-four-years old, haven't committed any crime, never hurt anybody. Why am I still locked up in a place like a dungeon? I know that America is more than just what I've experienced, that there is more to it than jails and cruel punishment.
-Letter to Human Rights Watch from Indian asylum seeker held in Bay County Jail, Panama City, Florida, January 4, 1998
In New York Harbor stands the Statue of Liberty, an emblem of the best and most generous dreams of the United States and a symbol of hope for those seeking freedom, safety, and a better life. For many who arrive on U.S. shores today, the symbolism of the statue contains a cruel irony.
As the United States experiences the largest wave of immigrants since the early years of this century, it is also detaining and deporting people in record numbers.1 Thousands who arrive in the U.S. to escape repression or build new lives end up behind bars-the majority in local jails scattered around the country-and may remain there for years.
The U.S. government's detention policy is motivated by several factors, such as ensuring deportation, preventing flight within the country or protecting the community, but its underlying message to all seeking admission to the United States, including asylum seekers, is one of deterrence: entering the country without proper permission leads to incarceration. Detention for the purposes of deterring illegal immigration became an integral part of U.S. immigration policy in the early 1980s, when thousands of Cuban and Haitian nationals began arriving in the country. The practice was extended to Central Americans throughout the decade.2 More recently, in 1993, nearly 300 Chinese asylum seekers were detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) when their ship, the Golden Venture, ran aground in the shallow waters of New York Harbor. In that case, the male and female asylum seekers were locked up in local jails in Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia and held for three and half years before they were deported to China or a third country, or paroled into the United States.3
By August 1998, the number of individuals detained by the INS reached approximately 15,000, roughly a 70 percent increase from just two years earlier.4 By the year 2001, the INS estimates that more than 23,000 men, women, and children will be in immigration detention.5
Individuals end up in INS detention in several ways. They may be arrested by the INS in a workplace raid, picked up near the U.S. border, detained upon arrival at an airport, or turned over to INS custody after serving a criminal sentence. They include men and women working illegally in the United States as household help, farm laborers, or factory workers; refugees fleeing civil conflict and persecution; or legal permanent residents with U.S. citizen families who lived, worked, and paid taxes in the United States prior to serving criminal sentences.
The INS is scrambling for bed space to hold the growing number of detainees. Immigration detention centers owned and operated by the INS and detention centers run by private corrections companies contracted by the INS cannot accommodate the increase, so the INS has chosen to rely on county and city jails to handle the overflow. Currently, almost 60 percent of all INS detainees are held in local jails around the country.6
INS detainees languish in these criminal institutions where they may be held for years, sometimes commingled with accused or convicted criminal inmates, physically mistreated, subjected to excessive or inappropriate discipline, denied adequate medical care, deprived of outdoor exercise, and isolated from family and legal counsel. Individuals fleeing persecution and seeking asylum are not spared jail detention. Because the INS's computer tracking system was created for enforcement purposes, it does not indicate which detainees are asylum seekers. They are simply mixed with other INS detainees and local inmate populations.
The use of local jails to hold INS detainees is supported by high-level INS officials, the Department of Justice and U.S. immigration law. In its Detention Plan for 1997-2001, the Department of Justice states that reliance on local jails is "more cost effective than the construction and operation of Federal facilities."7 In fact, the INS is directed by statutory law to explore the use of existing facilities before building additional bed space.8
The INS may be ignoring problems faced by its detainees held in local jails, but it is not unaware of them. The Department of Justice, in its Detention Plan for 1997-2001, expressed its concern over the use of local jails and stated that "[t]he INS has been most vulnerable in conditions of confinement lawsuits and complaints when local jails are used."9 Despite this troubling statement, which indicates INS knowledge of poor conditions and treatment of INS detainees in jails, the same detention plan calls for increases in the use of local facilities in the future.
In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed immigration legislation ensuring that detention would increase dramatically. It has failed, however, to take into account the human costs of new laws or the tremendous burden placed on the INS in implementing the sweeping changes.
The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) created new mandatory detention obligations for certain categories of immigrants and greatly expanded the number of crimes for which non-citizens can lose their legal status and be deported. Prior to the 1996 legislation, crimes resulting in deportation were limited to murder, rape, and other serious felonies. With IIRIRA, minor drug offenses, some cases of drunk driving, shoplifting, and any conviction carrying a sentence of one year or longer, whether or not the sentence was suspended or actually served, require deportation.10
The new laws so drastically increased the demand for detention space that in 1996 the INS petitioned Congress to authorize temporary rules allowing postponement of some of the mandatory detention provisions.11 INS Commissioner Doris Meissner warned in 1997 that "at some point in the near future, we expect that there will be insufficient detention space to meet the requirements of both mandatory detention and our other enforcement initiatives."12 The temporary detention rules, which allow the release of certain classes of individual with prior criminal convictions, were extended in 1997, and again in 1998, but cannot legally be extended again, leaving the INS to devise a plan to address the detention space shortage in the very near future.
IIRIRA also created a new deportation process, called "expedited removal," the intent of which is to process and deport individuals who enter the United States without valid documents as quickly as possible. The accelerated process imperils bona fide refugees, who often enter illegally or with fraudulent documents, since critical decisions about deportation are delegated to low-level INS officials and access to counsel and judicial review is limited.13
Even when asylum seekers prevail in the initial summary procedures and successfully prove in a subsequent interview that they have a "credible fear" of persecution in their home country, they are still subject to detention at the discretion of the INS.14 Immigrants' advocates report that discretion at the local INS district level has resulted in inconsistent and arbitrary decisions about who is released from detention, and claim that decisions are often more influenced by where a person was originally detained than by the strength of his or her asylum claim.15 For example, an Iraqi woman seeking asylum has been detained for almost a year in two Michigan county jails under the new expedited removal laws. The INS District Director for Detroit, who makes decisions about who is paroled in her district, explained the decision to detain the woman by saying, "Here, if we have the space, we'll hold you to complete the entire process."16
The INS provides few public statistics regarding detention during the credible-fear process and has repeatedly refused requests by academic researchers and non-governmental organizations to monitor the process. A recent studyon expedited removal found that even once individuals are recognized as asylum seekers in the INS system, detention at ports of entry lasted for an average of seventy-four days in Los Angeles, California, ninety-two days in New York, and seventy-one days in Brownsville, Texas.17
INS Detention System
The INS uses four types of facilities to hold detainees: INS owned-and-operated Service Processing Centers (SPCs);18 contracted centers run by private corrections companies;19 Bureau of Prisons facilities; and local jails scattered around the country.
As of February 1998, the INS held valid contracts with 1,041 local jails.20 Because decisions about which detention facilities are used are made within each of the thirty-three INS districts, the INS headquarters in Washington D.C. does not know how many or which jails are being used on any particular day. In fact, INS headquarters may not even have a complete list of jails the agency uses. When Human Rights Watch made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a complete list of all facilities used by the INS to hold its detainees, we were sent a stack of lists obviously obtained from various INS sources and district offices. After hours of sifting through the lists to discern where duplicate facilities were listed, Human Rights Watch counted 687 local jails in forty-three states, leaving roughly 400 jails unaccounted for. Some of the jails holding detainees with whom Human Rights Watch communicated were not included in the FOIA response, despite the fact that some detainees had been in those same local jails since 1996.21
In the INS/jail arrangement, administrative immigration detainees are handed over to the care of local jails, which are paid daily fees by the INS that vary between $35 to $100 per detainee.22 The influx of federal money has been a boon to local economies. In York County, Pennsylvania, revenue from the INS increased from $600,000 in 1992 to an expected $6 million in 1998 - $2 million of which is profit.23 The windfall profit already reaped by the contract with the INS allowed the county to cut its personal property taxes in 1996.24 In Manatee County, Florida, the INS paid one million dollars for the renovation of part of the Manatee County Jail, which included paying off alarge pre-existing debt owed by the county.25 According to jail officials, the INS guaranteed a total of 250 detainees per day and was obligated to pay the jails whether or not that number was met.26
INS detainees have become a desirable source of profit for local jails. Officials at Euless City Jail in Texas told Human Rights Watch that they had lowered their per diem rate from $68 to $55 in order to have a more "consistent" INS population and "to be more competitive."27 (Nearby Denton County Jail had recently signed a contract with the INS charging only $35 per detainee.) The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which has long recognized the profit to be made in privatized detention, has also entered the INS detention/local jail arena.28 The Chief of Security for CCA, which runs the Liberty County Jail in Texas, even asked Human Rights Watch researchers if they knew of ways to get more INS detainees.29
Lack of Uniform Standards
The only laws or regulations regarding detention conditions for INS detainees are four minimal requirements contained in federal regulations: twenty-four-hour supervision; compliance with safety and emergency codes; food service; and emergency medical care.30 There are no other laws or regulations binding on the INS regarding any other minimum standards that must be met in facilities holding INS detainees.
The INS has begun to recognize the importance of establishing minimum standards in its own detention centers and contracted facilities, but it has failed to extend the same standards to local jails, instead relying on whatever particular state or local standards are binding on jails. As this report illustrates, the result is inconsistent and inadequate treatment for detainees unlucky enough to be held in one of the hundreds of local jails used by the INS throughout the United States.
In January 1998, the INS issued twelve detention standards applicable only to INS Service Processing Centers and privately contracted for-profit facilities.31 The oversight of implementation and enforcement of the standards is called into question because the new standards do not have the force of regulations, but are merely internal INS policy. The first responsibility for implementation and enforcement falls on the officers-in-charge of each facility, and any unresolved issues are to be raised first to the INS district director and then the INS regional director. An INS headquarters facilitator was appointed by the INS commissioner to monitor the overall program, ensure training onthe standards, and serve as the final arbiter when issues cannot be resolved locally. Nevertheless, the detention standards remain legally unenforceable, and thus the ultimate power lies with the dozens of officers-in-charge to apply the standards as they see fit in their own facilities.
The INS claims it requires its own facilities to meet American Correctional Association guidelines.32 Six of the nine INS-run SPCs or contracted facilities have received accreditation under the ACA; the others reportedly are in the process of applying.33 The INS requires its privately contracted facilities to develop and apply standards consistent with the ACA and to obtain ACA accreditation within eighteen months.34 Not all ACA guidelines must be met, however, and the INS allows facilities to receive waivers for non-mandatory criteria if "overall agency programming compensates for lack of compliance."35
The fact that the INS considers the ACA guidelines as standards to be aspired to in their detention facilities speaks to the attitude of the agency toward the asylum seekers and other immigrants it detains. The ACA guidelines were created to govern the conditions and treatment in facilities designed to hold accused and convicted criminals. Nowhere do the guidelines mention administrative detainees or attempt to distinguish the special needs of, or treatment owed to, such a population. For example, the needs of immigration detainees, such as language requirements or specialized legal materials, are absent from the ACA guidelines. Even if an institution is fully ACA accredited, INS detainees' needs are not necessarily met. The ACA requirement, for example, that facilities be "geographically accessible to...inmates' lawyers, families and friends" seems only accidentally satisfied, if ever, for INS detainees who are routinely transferred from jail to jail and state to state with no apparent regard for location of family or legal counsel.
Contracting with Local Facilities
The INS claims that the local jails with which it contracts should meet ACA guidelines, but its minimum standards only. "It's not in the INS's interest to force the jails to meet certain standards because we need the space," the senior counsel for INS Field Operations told Human Rights Watch. "[C]ontractually, you cannot force the jails to do certain things. It's a dilemma."36
According to the INS, the agency prioritizes using jails that already have existing contracts with other Department of Justice agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). When the INS decides to use a jail with a USMS contract, it simply adds a "rider" to the document. Such a rider is insufficient since USMS contracts were negotiated with federal criminal prisoners in mind, not immigration detainees, and definitely not asylum seekers. Even when contracts are negotiated directly with the INS, they usually only require services for INS detainees thatare "consistent with the types and levels of services routinely afforded its own [jail] population" with no distinction made between INS detainees and local inmates.37
Human Rights Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in September 1996 to obtain copies of all guidelines and standards used by the INS in all non-INS detention facilities, including jails. In response, we received copies of sixty-three different ACA standards covering topics such as evacuation plans, special diets, and control of vermin. The INS also responded by providing their internal form called the G-324(a) - the Service Contract Facility Inspection Report - which contains thirty-eight different detention standards based on ACA guidelines. According to the INS, a jail need not meet all thirty-eight standards in order to enter into a contract or pass annual inspections carried out in some INS districts.38 Significantly, the enumerated standards do not require that any INS detainee be held separately from the general inmate population. If jails do not meet all of the standards, they are given a written explanation about problem areas and asked what plans they have to make changes.
Our 1996 FOIA request also included a request for copies of all inter-governmental service agreements (IGSAs) signed between local jails and the INS. Copies of the IGSAs were never sent to Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch was able to obtain copies of several contracts directly from jail administrators or county sheriffs. No INS/jail contract we reviewed made any specific reference to ACA standards or the INS's inspection form G 324(a).39 No warden Human Rights Watch interviewed was even aware that the INS's form, the G324(a), even existed. The fact that compliance with the INS's enumerated standards is not required by law, combined with the INS's desperate need for jail space, results in the agency's using facilities that fail to meet even basic health or safety requirements. As increasing numbers of detainees overwhelm INS detention capacity, jails that are not appropriate places to house detainees will continue to be used. The jails used by the INS may not even be secure or safe places. For example, in June 1998, six Cuban detainees escaped from East Feliciana Parish Prison in Louisiana - the fifth time INS detainees had escaped from the jail since 1988. Despite this substandard detention history, the INS was paying the jail more than twice what the state pays per day to house a local inmate.40
Given the financial benefits to be gained by local counties and jails in contracts with the INS, the agency's explanation that it is at the mercy of the local facilities is suspect. If local jails were asked to meet specific requirements or lose their lucrative contracts with the INS, local officials would have to consider the demands very carefully. As it stands now, the INS is allowing local officials to treat detained immigrants however they see fit.
Monitoring Local Jails
There are no laws or regulations governing how the INS should monitor detention conditions or treatment of INS detainees held in local jails. There is no national INS policy regarding monitoring local jails, nor are monitoring provisions routinely incorporated into INS/jail contracts. Some INS districts, such as New Orleans, claim to monitor and inspect jails on a regular basis, but whether or not inspection of local jails takes place is a local district decision, carried out without guidance from INS headquarters.41 Under the current system, the INS is essentially contracting away its responsibility for the treatment of its detainees to the discretion of local jail officials.
State jail standards and monitoring requirements vary and may even be non-existent. Neither the rigor nor results of state-mandated inspections are consistently monitored by the INS, and the agency has been silent in the face of wide variance in the frequency and quality of inspection systems used by the jails. In Florida, for example, where over thirty jails are used by the INS, a 1996 repeal of the pertinent section of the administrative code eliminated mandatory inspections by the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) that formerly insured compliance with Florida's model jail standards. Now Florida jails have the option to contract with the DOC to inspect the jail, make reciprocal inspection arrangements among jails to inspect each other's facilities, or conduct their own inspections. The sheriff of Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida told Human Rights Watch that his jail had decided to carry out its own in-house self-inspection by hiring a retired DOC inspector.42 Manatee County Jail, which houses roughly 300 INS detainees, arranged to conduct reciprocal inspections with five other counties.43
At most local jails used by the INS, the agency has only sporadic, unpredictable contact with their detainees. INS detainees report that their written requests to the INS for information about their cases or requests for transfers or special assistance often go unanswered. Detainees often do not know what is happening in their immigration cases, why they are being transferred, or when, if ever, they can expect to be released from detention.
Some jails do have frequent, even daily, contact with INS officers, but interactions are usually limited to an exchange of paperwork during transport of detainees and rarely offer any opportunity for detainees to speak directly with its representatives. The warden at Hillsborough County Jail in Florida told Human Rights Watch that he had not talked to anyone at the INS for three years.44 At a few local jails, like Berks County Prison in Pennsylvania, the INS maintains an on-site representative to deal with the needs of the detainee population. In other jails, such as DuPage County Jail in Illinois, the jail designates someone from its own staff to serve as a liaison with the INS.
Tension in the System
Not surprisingly, the tension created by such an inconsistent detention policy lacking effective monitoring mechanisms, has made the facilities ripe for outbursts by INS detainees frustrated and angered by long periods of incarceration, inadequate conditions of confinement and frequent mistreatment.
In 1995, those frustrations exploded in violence at a contracted immigration center holding mostly asylum seekers in Elizabeth, New Jersey, managed by Esmor Correctional Services, Inc., a private, for-profit company. On the night of June 18, a group of INS detainees took over the facility; Esmor correctional officers fled the buildingsor hid as property was destroyed.45 To end the melee, a police SWAT team surrounded the facility, used tear gas, and rounded up and handcuffed detainees.46
Later that night, about two dozen detainees were brought to Union County Jail, also in Elizabeth, New Jersey. For three days, detainees from Albania, India, Ghana, and elsewhere were beaten, held naked, made to crawl on their hands and knees through a gauntlet of jail officers, and forced to chant "America is Number One."47 One Indian detainee claimed that between beatings, correctional officers used pliers to pinch the skin on his genitals and squeeze his tongue.48
On March 6, 1998, after a nine-week trial in which fourteen INS detainees testified, three correctional of
officers from the Union County Jail were found guilty on counts of assault, misconduct, or conspiracy.49 After these convictions, six other correctional officers pleaded guilty to official misconduct.50
An INS review and investigation of the Esmor facility ordered by INS Commissioner Doris Meissner was already underway when the June 18 incident took place. A seventy-two- page report released by the INS in July 1995 concluded that "detainees were subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, and other degrading actions perpetrated by some Esmor guards."51 The report further stated that this type of abusive treatment "was part of a systematic methodology designed...to control the general detainee population and to intimidate and discipline obstreperous detainees through use of corporal punishment."52
The Elizabeth, New Jersey facility was reopened by the INS in 1997, this time under contract with the for-profit company, Corrections Corporation of America. Having been forced by the 1995 incident to face the problems that arise when facilities are not properly inspected or sufficiently monitored, the INS has instituted monitoringmechanisms and designated several INS staff members to deal with detainee complaints, which have again arisen under the new contractor.53
Unfortunately, the lessons learned by the INS in the Esmor case, such as the importance of carefully choosing detention facilities, creating comprehensive contracts and establishing rigorous monitoring procedures, have not been extended to local jails holding INS detainees. Since no national formal monitoring procedures have been established by the INS, the nearly 8,000 INS detainees held at local jails are at the mercy of the local jailers. Those placed in a safe and humane facility are the lucky ones.
Serious instances of mistreatment of INS detainees held in local jails continue to be exposed. In July 1998, INS detainees held in Jackson County Correctional Center in Florida alleged that jail officials shocked them with electrified batons and shields; one INS detainee claimed he was shackled to a concrete slab, shocked with an electric riot shield, and left for seventeen hours. Responding to the Jackson County incident, the INS assistant deputy director for detention and deportation for the INS Miami district aptly described the fundamental problems of the INS/jail arrangement: "We cannot dictate to the county or the state of Florida what standards they should have in their facilities. They're another government agency. We have to rely on their integrity."54
Protests and complaints by detainees in other parts of the country also continue. In February 1998, INS detainees held at a New Hampshire jail went on a hunger strike to protest overcrowding at the jail and the alleged beating of a Vietnamese detainee.55 And INS detainees at Avoyelles Parish Prison in Louisiana went on a hunger strike when air conditioners broke down during a blistering Louisiana August last year.56
Alternatives to Detention
Detention is a costly immigration policy, in both human and financial terms. Alternatives to detention are not only more humane, they also allow the INS to make better financial choices regarding limited detention resources. For example, an asylum seeker detained by the INS for six months at a local jail charging $50 per day costs the INS $9,000; some jails end up costing the INS more than $20,000 per detainee per year. Despite the overwhelming need for detention space, the INS has been slow to develop release alternatives or to fully utilize alternatives to detention that already exist.
In 1990, the INS initiated a pilot parole program when advocates argued that the INS was unnecessarily detaining asylum seekers.57 The program allowed local INS district directors to grant parole to asylum seekers, taking into consideration such criteria as the basis for the asylum claim, whether fear of persecution was credible, threat to public safety, and contacts in the United States. Asylum seekers paroled under the program needed to be represented by legal counsel and were to report periodically to the INS and appear at all immigration hearings.
The INS's pilot parole program, now called the Asylum Pre-Screening Officer program (APSO), became permanent in 1992, but its implementation during the last several years has been sporadic and has suffered from insufficient funding and a lack of consistent and serious utilization by the district directors. When changes in the 1996 immigration law created the expedited removal process, the INS stated that it intended to consider parole for asylum seekers who successfully passed the credible fear interview.58 But information generated in January 1998 by the INS's Asylum Office, which implements the parole program, indicated that the number of parole interviews for asylum seekers was relatively low and varied significantly among the local INS districts, some of which routinely denied parole to asylum seekers who met eligibility criteria.59
The INS is also exploring supervised release programs for other immigrants in detention. In 1996, the INS contracted with the Vera Institute of Justice to undertake a three-year demonstration program of supervised release of immigrants (not only asylum seekers) in removal proceedings in the New York City and Newark, New Jersey INS districts. In February 1997, the Appearance Assistance Project (AAP) of the Vera Institute began to screen immigrants after they were apprehended by the INS and to undertake their supervision until they are allowed to remain in the United States or are deported. Individuals recommended for supervision must meet criteria relating to their community ties (verified address and a sponsor), their record of compliance in previous proceedings, and their threat to public safety.60 To remain in the program, immigrants must keep the AAP informed of their whereabouts, appear in court, and comply with final immigration court decisions. The project helps remove barriers to compliance by assisting participants to obtain free or low-cost legal representation and other social or educational services when needed.
The Appearance Assistance Project is an important step toward making the INS's detention policy more rational and humane by calling into question the automatic detention of immigrants. The initial results indicate that the project is an effective alternative to detention; more than 80 percent of the AAP's participants are complying with all court appearances.61 The experience of the AAP illustrates that with the right combination of oversight, information, and community and legal support, immigrants will choose to comply with INS requirements, making detention unnecessary.1 In the first three months of FY1998 (beginning October 1, 1997), the INS detained and deported 34,134 people, a seventy percent increase over the same period in 1997. In 1998, the agency plans to detain and deport 127, 300 people. Michelle Mittelstadt, "INS Removes 70 Percent More Aliens," Associated Press, February 19, 1998. 2 While civil wars plagued Central America, the United States routinely locked up and sometimes deported Central Americans seeking asylum. Helsinki Watch, Detained, Denied, Deported: Asylum Seekers in the United States, (New York: Human Rights Watch, June 1989). 3 Ian Fisher, "Smuggled Chinese Immigrants Released From Prison," New York Times, February 27, 1997. See also, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, A Cry for Help: Chinese Women in Detention, March 1995, which describes the experiences of thirteen women from the Golden Venture held in local jails in Mississippi and Louisiana. 4 Internal INS Detention and Deportation Daily Population Reports from the Western, Central, and Eastern INS Regional offices for August 7, 1998. 5 Federal Detention Plan 1997-2001, submitted by the Department of Justice to the U.S. Congress in May 1997. 6 INS Detention and Deportation Daily Population Reports, August 7, 1998. 7 Federal Detention Plan 1997-2001. 8 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Section 241(g)(2). 9 Federal Detention Plan 1997-2001, p. 16.
10 INA Sections 212(a), 237(a) and 238(a).
11 The Transitional Period Custody Rules, 8 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Section 235.3.
12 Memorandum on Detention Policy, INS Office of the Commissioner, July 14, 1997.
13 See Legal Standards.
14 8 C.F.R. 235.3(c). Regulations provide that parole determinations be made on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons of significant public benefit where there is no security or flight risk. 8 C.F.R. 212.5(a). See Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Slamming `The Golden Door:' A Year of Expedited Removal, March 1998, describing how the INS unnecessarily imprisons bona fide asylum seekers by failing to comply with its own parole procedures.
15 Mirta Ojito, "Inconsistency at INS Complicates Refugees' Asylum Quest," New York Times, June 22, 1998.
16 Tim Doran, "Jailed Woman Awaits Decision," Detroit Free Press, July 9, 1998.
17 "Report on the First Year of Implementation of Expedited Removal," International Human Rights and Migration Project, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University, May 1998, p. 55.
18 The nine SPCs are located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Buffalo, New York; El Centro, California; El Paso, Texas; Florence, Arizona; Miami, Florida; Los Fresnos, Texas; San Pedro, California; and New York, New York.
19 The INS contracts with Wackenhut and Corrections Corporation of America to hold only INS detainees in facilities in Aurora, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Laredo, Texas; and Elizabeth, New Jersey. In addition, the Bureau of Prisons leases additional space to the INS in Oakdale, Louisiana and Eloy, Arizona.
20 INS Detention and Deportation Statistics, February 25, 1998.
21 For example, Human Rights Watch received letters from INS detainees held in St. Mary's County Detention Center in Leonardtown, Maryland, Nacogdoches County Jail in Nacogdoches, Texas, and Salem County Correctional Facility, in Woodstown, New Jersey, yet none of these facilities appeared on any list provided by the INS.
22 In 1998, the average per diem paid to local jails by the INS was $58.46. Federal Detention Plan 1997-2001.
23 Myung Oak Kim, "York County, PA, Benefits From Tougher Immigration Laws," Philadelphia Daily News, May 14, 1998. To make space for the increased numbers of detainees, the jail's gymnasium has been converted into dormitory housing to hold between seventy and ninety detainees.
24 Mike Zapler, "York Prison Program Awaits Congressional Action on Immigration," States News Service, May 7, 1996.
25 Human Rights Watch interview with S. Kent Dodd, INS facility director, Manatee County Jail, Bradenton, Florida, February 25, 1997.
27 Human Rights Watch interview with Capt. Harlan Westmoreland, Euless City Jail, Euless, Texas, February 27, 1997.
28 The Corrections Corporation of America is a for-profit business that contracts with federal, state, and local governmental agencies to run penal and detention institutions.
29 Human Rights Watch interview with Chief Mike Holm, Jr., Liberty County Jail, Liberty, Texas, March 7, 1997.
30 8 CFR 235.3(e).
31 The detention standards issued in January 1998 are: Access to Legal Materials; Detainee Population Counts; Detainee Marriage Requests; Detainee Telephone Access; Detainee Visitation; Detainee Voluntary Work Program; Group Legal Rights Presentations; Issuance and Exchange of Clothing, Bedding, Linen and Towels; Detainee Access to Medical Care; Religious Practices; Suicide Prevention and Intervention; and Hunger Strikes. Four of the standards, dealing with visitation, legal materials, telephone access and legal rights presentations were circulated by the INS, with the help of the American Bar Association, to interested immigrants advocates for informal comment before being finalized.
32 The American Correctional Association is a non-profit organization that administers the only national accreditation program for adult correctional institutions. The ACA has developed thirty-five mandatory and 386 non-mandatory standards covering such topics as health care, physical conditions, staff training, discipline, food service, capacity and location of facilities. American Correctional Association, Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities (1991), Standards Supplement (1998).
33 Donald Kerwin, "Detention: Our Sad National Symbol," In Defense of the Alien, (New York: Center for Migration Studies, 1997), p. 137.
35 Ibid., p. 138.
36 Human Rights Watch interview with Kristine Marcy, Senior Counsel, INS Office of Field Operations, Washington D.C., May 29, 1998.
37 This is the language used in the INS contract with Berks County Prison and York County Prison in Pennsylvania.
38 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Terry Valentine, INS Detention Inspector, Oakdale, Louisiana, July 1, 1998.
39 Some jail officials told Human Rights Watch that the INS made diet and exercise requirements or that the contract stated that INS detainees cannot work and must be fed 2,400 calories per day.
40 James Minton, "Six Cubans Flee E. Feliciana Prison," The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, June 24, 1998.
41 In only one of the contracts obtained by Human Rights Watch was the subject of inspections explicitly mentioned. The IGSA between Fort Lauderdale City Jail and the INS states that the city "agrees to allow periodic inspections of the facility by [INS] jail inspectors," but does not specify frequency of the inspections or what standards would be used.
42 Human Rights Watch interview with Col. David Parish, Hillsborough County Jail, Tampa, Florida, February 24, 1997.
43 Human Rights Watch interview with Maj. Richard Ference, corrections bureau chief, Manatee County Jail, Bradenton, Florida, February 25, 1997.
44 Human Rights Watch interview with Maj. Steve Saunders, Hillsborough County Jail, February 24, 1997.
45 David Gonzales, "Jail Uprising Leaves Many Sad and Bitter," New York Times, June 25, 1995. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, The Elizabeth, New Jersey, Contract Detention Facility Operated by Esmor, Inc.: Interim Report, July 20, 1995.
46 Ibid. For months before the uprising, detainees and their advocates had been complaining to the INS about the food, medical care, sleeping conditions and abusive treatment by guards in the Esmor facility. Carl Frick, who served as the facility's first warden, told the New York Times that a riot was predictable, since everything from the food to medical care was "done as cheaply as possible;" for example, the food service contract was renegotiated because $1.12 per day was considered too expensive for detainees' meals. See also, Ashley Dunn, "Jail Official Blames Revolt on Agency," New York Times, June 21, 1995.
47 Christine Gardner, "Defense Argues for U.S. Guards in Trial Over Illegal Immigrants," Reuters, March 3, 1998. "Detained Immigrant Recalls Rough Treatment at Union County Jail," Associated Press, February 2, 1998.
48 Ronald Smothers, "Immigrants Tell of Mistreatment by New Jersey Jail Guards," New York Times, February 6, 1998.
49 Ronald Smothers, "Three Jail Guards Guilty of Abusing Immigrants," New York Times, March 7, 1998.
50 Ibid. On April 28, another officer was convicted for failing to report the beatings of the immigrants while the final officer standing prosecution was acquitted.
51 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, The Elizabeth, New Jersey, Contract Detention Facility Operated by Esmor, Inc.: Interim Report, July 20, 1995.
53 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Andrea Quarantillo, INS Newark district director, Newark, New Jersey, July 29, 1998. Detainees and their advocates have complained of forcible sedation and improper use of restraints and the complaints have been investigated by the INS.
54 Teresa Mears, "Detainees Held By INS Say Jails Rife With Abuse," The Boston Globe, August 2, 1998.
55 Lois Shea, "Immigrant Detainees Continue Hunger Strike at N.H. Jail," Globe Staff and Clare Kittredge Globe Correspondent, February 2, 1998.
56 Mabell Dieppa, "Cuban Refugees Held 17 Years in U.S. `Detention' Camp Stage Hunger Strike," Reuters, August 20, 1997.
57 For a history of INS parole programs and suggestions about how they can be improved, see Arthur Helton, "A Rational Release Policy for Refugees: Reinvigorating the APSO Program," 75 Interpreter Releases 685 (May 18, 1998).
58 INS Memorandum titled "Implementation of Expedited Removal," from Chris Sale, INS deputy commissioner, March 31, 1997.
59 Helton, "A Rational Release Policy...." Interpreter Releases, May 18, 1998, p. 689.
60 "Attaining Compliance with Immigration Laws Through Community Supervision," The Appearance Assistance Project, Vera Institute of Justice, 1998.
61 Ibid. From February 3 to December 31, 1997, 220 court appearances were required and 188 appearances were made.
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