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Senator Calls For Closure of NM CoreCivic Immigration Jail

December 09, 2023 (1 min read)

Austin Fisher, Source NM, Dec. 8, 2023

"When human waste flooded part of a U.S. immigration prison in central New Mexico last month, guards ordered incarcerated people to clean it up with their bare hands and put them in solitary confinement when they protested, according to a letter from Sen. Martin Heinrich to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On Wednesday the senator from New Mexico again asked U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to close the Torrance County Detention Facility, an ICE prison in Estancia, and terminate his agency’s contract with CoreCivic, the company running the prison. Mayorkas during a Congressional hearing on Nov. 9 told Heinrich that he would “look at” Torrance, that conditions in ICE prisons are a “priority” and he has closed five prisons that didn’t comply with “the conditions we insist upon.” “Since our hearing, the situation at Torrance has grown even more dire,” Heinrich wrote on Wednesday. On Nov. 14, raw sewage flooded two cell pods inside Torrance, covered half of the cells and much of the common area, and drained out through the dining area, Heinrich wrote. His letter cites a report from legal service advocates. The flooding impacted about 40 men incarcerated in the same cell pod, according to Heinrich. Guards in the facility twice ordered them to clean it up, but didn’t give them protective gear, except for two pairs of gloves, Heinrich wrote."