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4 Jan 2018

San Diego Union Tribunes

USA: Immigrants file lawsuit alleging labor exploitation by CoreCivic, a firm operating a detention center

“Class-action lawsuit alleges immigrants are forced to labor in detention”, 30 December 2017

Immigrants in detention in San Diego are suing a private prison company, alleging exploitation and forced labor that their attorneys say breaks human trafficking laws. The class-action lawsuit…alleges that immigrants at Otay Mesa Detention Center are paid at most $1.50 per day, and sometimes not paid at all, for their work … It further alleges that the facility doesn’t provide all of the basic necessities that detainees need for daily life… which means they have to work in order to buy those items at the commissary…facility staff threatened to put detainees in solitary confinement or take away visitation rights if they said they didn’t want to work. CoreCivic, the company that contracts with the government to operate the facility, said that it does not comment on pending litigation and has not yet been served with the lawsuit… The complaint hinges on the fact that immigration court is a civil court system, not a criminal one. That means that, unlike people in jail or prison, those going through the immigration court system cannot be detained as punishment…