As of 2020, there were approximately 128 immigration detention centers in the United States, including several in Florida. People who are held in these facilities may be there for any number of reasons. While it is a form of detention, immigrant detainees throughout the country can expect their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, as well as medical needs, to be met.
A 42-year-old man who entered the country while fleeing a hurricane in Honduras in 1998 has come forward to tell of the horrific experience that followed those events. The man says that he was placed in a detention center that was ravaged by three natural disasters. He says the privately owned correctional facility that was housing immigrants for ICE was not prepared to deal with hurricanes and that the conditions inside the detention facility during the storms were appalling.
No air conditioning, no running water and 100-degree temperatures
The man is one of many immigrants who are said to have endured inhumane conditions in a Louisiana detention facility during a hurricane. Because detainees were transported there from other locations during the storm, it was overcrowded. Temperatures reached 100 degrees and the power was out, so there was no air conditioning or running water. Toilets could not be flushed.
At least 50 people were forced to share a few gallons of water, twice per day. The man said the stench inside the facility was awful and he vomited several times because of a spray that guards were using for crowd control. Many immigrant advocates have spoken out against lack of preparedness for climate disasters in the country’s immigration detention centers. Any Florida immigrant who is in need of legal support because of such issues may request a meeting with an experienced U.S. immigration law attorney.