Media Relations Manager
Working with our partner, New Orleans-based Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy (ISLA), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has been investigating the conditions of one of these for-profit facilities, the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, run by the GEO Group, to understand the day-to-day experiences of immigrants put under ICE’s care. What we found was appalling:
- People regularly being given moldy, cold, and inedible food, contrary to ICE’s own requirements that meals meet certain basic standards and not be used for punishment.
- Limited access to clean drinking water.
- Crowded cells with limited access to hand sanitizer, masks, or other COVID-19 precautions.
- Personnel and officers who are overtly hostile, particularly toward Black and African immigrants.
Pine Prairie’s staff uses the practice in lieu of proper social distancing and other medical care, for people experiencing mental health crises, and to punish people for “behavioral” issues, including hunger strikes and peaceful protests for racial justice—to the point of constituting torture under international human rights law.
We’ve filed an urgent complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, alongside ISLA and 15 other immigrant rights groups, demanding the agency take action to investigate Pine Prairie and hold ICE’s New Orleans field office accountable for failing to meet the agency’s own basic standards of care.
The occupant of the White House has changed, but the problems plaguing the U.S. immigration system remain the same. It’s time to shut down the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center and demand an end to immigration detention.