fbpx GEO Group Owes Immigrant Detainees Nearly $17.3 Million - Documented

GEO Group Owes Immigrant Detainees Nearly $17.3 Million

Plus: Democrats demand investigation into Texas’ ‘catch and jail’ policy, and 13 migrants are rescued and one died while crossing border

Deanna Garcia

Nov 02, 2021

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers making arrests

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A federal jury decided the private prison operator GEO Group has to pay immigrant detainees, who were paid $1 a day for labor at GEO’s Tacoma, Washington, jail, almost $17.3 million. The same jury decided two days earlier that GEO Group violated Washington’s minimum wage law with its incredibly low wages. The GEO Group may also have to pay more when a judge examines separate damages sought by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed another lawsuit on behalf of detainees held since 2005. The Seattle Times 

In other national immigration news…

Democrats Demand Investigation into Texas’ ‘Catch and Jail’ Policy

More than two dozen Congressional Democrats called for an investigation of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) “catch and jail” policy, which allows state police to arrest migrants on criminal trespassing charges. About 25 lawmakers signed a letter calling on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to begin this investigation and see if the state created what they refer to as “a separate state immigration policy” through Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. According to lawmakers, the operation overwhelmed local justice systems throughout the state, with one county dealing with more than 80% of cases, and leaving migrants “without attorneys for weeks.” Forbes 

13 Individuals Swam Across U.S. Border, One Died

Government officials said that one person died and 13 people were captured after a large group attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by swimming around a San Diego barrier. In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that U.S. Border Patrol agents were notified of approximately 70 people trying to swim from Tijuana to the U.S. late Friday night. Responding agents discovered an unresponsive woman, who was believed to be in the group, and attempted to do CPR, but she was declared dead. According to Border Patrol, agents apprehended 36 adult Mexican nationals, as well as 13 people pulled from the water. All were taken for processing at a nearby Border Patrol station. The Associated Press 

Immigrant Detainee Diagnosed with Schizophrenia in ICE Custody Remains in the Legal System

Marlon Campos-Osuna was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder during his first year being held by ICE at La Palma Correctional Center. A year ago, he was transferred to Pima County due to, according to arrest documents, his alleged assault on an employee at the ICE jail. A decade later, Campos-Osuna is now facing a competency hearing that will decide if he will answer to the assault in criminal court. He’d then have to go back to ICE custody, where he would do another round of evaluations under immigration court. AZCentral 

Día de Los Muertos Vigils Honor Immigrants Who Died in ICE Detention

California’s community advocates and faith leaders are hosting Día de Los Muertos vigils throughout the state to honor those who died in ICE jails. San Diego’s American Friends Service Committee hosted a vigil at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. Adriana Jasso, program coordinator for the committee, said, “We want to use the opportunity to bring awareness to the community and remind them that sadly COVID-19 has horrific consequences at these facilities.” In May 2020, an Otay Mesa detainee was the first person to die of COVID-19 at an immigration detention center nationwide. KPBS



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