fbpx Leaked Video Exemplifies What Black Migrants Suffer in U.S. Detention Centers - Documented

Leaked Video Exemplifies What Black Migrants Suffer in U.S. Detention Centers

Plus: Nearly 200 Afghan children are languishing in federal custody, and doctors criticize the Biden administration’s use of Title 42

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

A leaked video obtained by Insider shows guards in a Louisiana detention facility violently tackling a Black asylum seeker, Brandon. They rammed his head into a wall, put him in a chokehold, threw him to the floor, and, with a knee on his neck, pinned him down. “I was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t move. I was feeling so weak,” Brandon said. Brandon’s attorney said his experience is not uncommon, adding that “after 7 years of practice, I can confidently say that the Black clients…whose representation I have supervised are consistently subjected to greater degrees of abuse.” Other attorneys noted that Black detainees sometimes struggled to access basic supplies, such as soap and food, were subjected to solitary confinement at a high rate, and faced racist and abusive language by guards and other staff. Insider

In other national immigration news…

Nearly 200 Afghan Children are Languishing in Federal Custody

About 1,400 unaccompanied Afghan minors were brought to the United States last year and placed in custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. More than 1,200 now live with sponsors, typically relatives or family friends. Those remaining are mostly teenage boys, being held in what seems an endless limbo. Some children have run away, punched employees, refused to eat, or even tried to kill themselves. And some reported being hurt by employees and sexually abused by other minors. At least three shelters have shut down or paused operations after taking in large groups of Afghan children, prompting federal officials to transfer them to other facilities and further upending their lives. ProPublica

Doctors Criticize Biden Administration’s Use of Title 42

In a new journal entry co-authored by medical doctors in the New England Journal of Medicine, health experts criticize the government’s misuse of public health as a pretext to end asylum. “There was — and remains — no public health evidence that singling out asylum seekers or other migrants for exclusion is effective in stemming the spread of Covid-19,” they wrote. They added that the “rationale behind the Title 42 order … in some respects, is blatantly false.” So far, the government has used Title 42 to send back people seeking asylum more than 1.7 million times, and the policy is still continuing. The CDC is expected to decide by March 30 if it will extend Title 42, or if the public health order — never justified by science — will finally come to an end. New England Journal of Medicine

ICE Claims Immigrants in Detention had Unabated Access to Lawyers During the Pandemic 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement claimed in a new report submitted to the House and Senate homeland security subcommittees that detained immigrants had “unabated” access to lawyers during the pandemic. ICE was ordered to submit a report to the appropriations panels “on overall access for attorneys and detainee representatives to ICE facilities.” The report includes some contradictions as the agency said it “does not track the number of legal visits that were denied or not facilitated and/or the number of facilities that do not meet ICE standards for attorney/client communications.” At the same time, it states ICE inspections in fiscal 2020 “did not identify any legal representatives being denied access to their clients.” Roll Call

Biden Admin. to Cut Over 25% of Bed Capacity in Immigration Detention Facilities

President Biden will release a budget plan today to fund a total of 25,000 immigration detention beds — a reduction from the 34,000 beds funded in the current fiscal year, which ends September. Reducing the number of detention beds is an indication of the administration’s shift toward detention alternatives such as ankle-monitoring devices and app trackers. The administration plans to stop housing detainees at the Etowah County Jail in Alabama, and limit the use of detention centers in North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. These places also hold nonimmigrant inmates, and have experienced problems including poor medical treatment, lack of access to outdoor areas, bug infestations and other inhumane conditions. New York Times

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