Organization accuses ICE of human rights violations at detention facility
POSTED: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 6:05pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 6:08pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — As the world celebrates International Human Rights day a group of activists joined today to raise their voice in a demonstration of support for their incarcerated family members at the ICE detention center in East El Paso.
"For us human rights don't exist here because my brother has been detained here for more than 5 months he passed his credible fear test after requesting political asylum but for some reason he has not been released," protestor Guadalupe Reyes said.
The protest was organized after the National Young Alliance released a press release stating that an activist who's eligible for the differed action infiltrated the detention facility by turning himself in by saying he was undocumented.
The group says that activist witnessed alleged human rights violations inside the facility.
"He's been calling us to tell us all these stories and most of the people like I said is really sad every time I call they're crying," NIYA’s organizer Marco Pacheco said.
Those alleged allegations include; 6 alleged cases of pregnant women detained in conditions detrimental to the health of their unborn babies, including one woman who suffered a miscarriage, inside the center.
The group also reported 12 instances of detainees, eligible for parole, deported and instances of detainees being refused proper medication, despite diagnosed conditions.
ICE spokesperson Leticia Zamarripa immediately responded to the allegations saying:
“The general charges made by NIYA in its media advisory concerning the detainee population at El Paso Processing Center are not accurate,"
"ICE cannot respond to NIYA's vague claims about individuals. ICE exercises prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis." Zamarripa said.
But for the affected families the situation is still unfair. They say the movement and protests will continue until they receive a favorable answer and respect for their family members.
"They lived in Mexico with fear but now they live inside a jail, that's not life that's why I'm asking them to release them if they already eligible for parole," Reyes concluded.
According to ICE’s spokesperson this same organization attempted the same thing at a facility in Florida.