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This Latino spent 14 months in isolation in an ICE cell. He says he's American and now he's claiming payment for that nightmare 


Carlos Murillo is the first person to use California law that allows people to sue the private operators of ICE centers. These are the reasons.

For 14 months, Carlos Murillo Vega was isolated in a cell at an Immigration and Customs Control (ICE) detention center in California,

where he was subjected to abuses that caused damage to his physical and mental health. 

Murillo, 40, became the first person on Thursday to use a state law that allows private operators of ICE detention centers to be sued for failing to meet standards of proper care for detainees. 

Murillo was born in Mexico and raised in Holtville, a California town near the Mexican border

, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He claims to be a US citizen but was unable to present documentation to prove it to ICE.

His application indicates that he has nationality "through his father, a military veteran born in the United States."

Murillo was arrested in December 2019 and transferred to the center

Imperial Regional

in Calexico, California, which is managed by Management and Training Corporation.

ICE won't be able to arrest or deport immigrants just because they don't have documents


30, 202102: 14

In his lawsuit, filed by the

California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice

and other groups before the court for the Southern District of California, Murillo alleges that when he arrived at the detention center, he was given a choice between whether he wanted to be housed with the general population or in " protected custody ". 

[Immigrants denounce the "horrendous" and "inhumane" conditions at the Louisiana ICE detention center]

An official at the center suggested that

with the general population it would be more "dangerous,"

explains the lawsuit, so Murillo opted for what is known as protected custody.

"What followed was a Kafkaesque nightmare of isolation, abuse and cruel disregard for Murillo's physical and mental health," says the lawsuit, which requires compensation in excess of $ 75,000. 

An ICE detainee rests his hands on the window of his isolation cell at the Adelanto, California, detention center run by Geo Group Inc.Lucy Nicholson / REUTERS

The conditions of the detention center changed his life.

Being in isolation, he

spent 23 hours a day locked up and without access to the playground, unlike the rest of the detainees. 

[Podcast 296+ Days: The Story of an Isolated Immigrant in an ICE Prison]

The isolation caused him paranoia and even suicidal thoughts, according to the lawsuit, which adds that his requests to be transferred were denied on the grounds that he had chosen it that way.

Murillo was unable to enjoy activities in the detention center, visits and other services that ICE requires private operators to offer to inmates.

Immigrants report being given rotten food and stinking water in an ICE detention center

June 22, 202102: 21

["I'm worse than before the operation": this was the ICE center closed for unnecessary surgeries on immigrants]

In his cell, he could only wait for the authorities to decide on his immigration status. 

Last year, federal inspectors made a report on the conditions in this center and

found irregular in how the officers handled "the isolation conditions."

“The detainees were kept in isolation for prolonged periods of 22 to 23 hours a day;

two of them had spent more than 300 days like this, "says the document

 Last January, the state Department of Justice issued another report in which it determined that the detainees in protected custody at this center were subjected to "harsh and isolating conditions" from which they could not escape despite their request.

[296 days: How an ICE isolation cell led an immigrant to wish for death]

Only two weeks of the 14 months that he was detained was Murilllo able to spend it in a common bedroom.

The circumstances of his release are not yet known, but according to the lawsuit, "he continues to have nightmares" about his imprisonment.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-10-15

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