A group of illegal aliens are now complaining about the conditions in which they’re being held, and are seeking “millions” in damages for their “psychological harm.”
Nashville, Tennessee attorney Andrew Free filed a tort claim against the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of five illegals, alleging “the detained women and their children received inadequate medical care, suffered psychological trauma and in some cases were wrongfully imprisoned,” the Star Telegram reports.
The tort claim –a precursor to a federal lawsuit — is also directed at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE runs two family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, which hold about 1,400 people.
Free contends the conditions at the centers have “fallen below the standard of care that they owe to these detainees,” who are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“We expect this will be the first in a large set of filings on the mistreatment of these women and children on behalf of the government,” according to the lawyer.
But ICE disputes those claims.
Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen tells the paper the centers provide “open environment” and are “an effective and humane alternative for maintaining family unity as families go through immigration proceedings or await return to their home countries.”
The centers include play areas, educational services, medical care and legal help, according to Christensen.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is fighting against an order by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee that detainees be set free due to the “deplorable” conditions in which they’re being held.
Federal lawyers believe an immediate release will spur smugglers “who are known to exploit changes in immigration policy” to “lure more people to breach the Texas-Mexico border,” KVIA reports.
“Therefore, the Court’s proposed remedy — to the extent that it eliminates the Government’s ability to use expedited removal or reinstated orders of removal for families under any circumstances — could cause another notable increase in the numbers of parents choosing to cross the border with their children,” attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department argue.