Another Lawsuit Against CBP Alleges Horrific Detention Conditions

Another Lawsuit Against CBP Alleges Horrific Detention Conditions

"Alba Quiñones Flores started her period the first week that she was in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection.  Every morning, a guard delivered sanitary napkins to her cell of 20 women—but only four or five pads for all of them.  Quiñones couldn't scramble to the door fast enough to claim one.  She'd injured her ankle crossing the Mexican border before CBP picked her up near Falfurrias, Texas, and she still hadn't received first aid.  A CBP agent had thrown out the pills and insulin she needed to treat her myriad health problems, including hypertension, diabetes, migraines, anxiety, and convulsions.  So Quiñones wound up using the same, single sanitary pad for her entire period.  She tried to extend its life by covering it in toilet paper, but without success, and her pants and underwear became soaked in menstrual blood.

This is just one of a series of allegations that Quiñones has lobbed at CBP in a lawsuit she filed in federal court in late May.  Quiñones, who fled her native El Salvador to escape domestic abuse, is among the first former CBP detainees to sue the agency for abuse suffered while in custody, and her complaint is one of a string of lawsuits that immigrants rights advocates kicked off in March 2013 to highlight dismal conditions in CBP facilities.

Quiñones' allegations are commonplace, according to immigration attorneys and immigrant rights advocates who have interviewed hundreds of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants temporarily detained by CBP every year." - Molly Redden, June 5, 2014.