USA: Immigration Detainees Seek Prison-Rape Protection
Human rights advocates are calling on the Obama administration to do more to protect people in immigration detention centers from sexual assault. A new federal rule that will take effect next year covers inmates in jails and prisons, but some Homeland Security officials want an exemption for facilities that house illegal immigrants.
Survivors of abuse inside those facilities say that would be a dangerous oversight. One of them is a man who came to the U.S. about a decade ago on a visa designed for crew members working on a ship. NPR isn't naming the man because of the sensitivity of his case.
He says that in 2009, immigration agents arrived at his workplace in the Midwest, told him he'd overstayed his visa and took him into federal custody to be deported to India. And, like many detainees, he wound up spending years behind bars.
One night last year, he says, three gang members living in his Illinois detention facility showed up at his cell.