The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) has penned a letter to federal officials with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security regarding horrible allegations that employees at a Southern Texas immigration holding center have been sexually abusing women detainees.
According to the letter, women claim that workers at the Karnes County Residential Center have have engaged in awful abuses like, via CNN:
"[R]emoving female detainees from their cells late in the evening and during early morning hours for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts in various parts of the facility."
Also, workers called detainees "their 'novias,' or 'girlfriends,' " and requested "sexual favors from female detainees in exchange for money, promises of assistance with their pending immigration cases, and shelter when and if the women are released," the advocates alleged.
Workers also kissed, fondled and groped detainees in front of other detainees, including children, the advocates alleged.
The letter MALDEF wrote on behalf of several immigration advocacy groups also stated:
"We call for an immediate investigation into these serious allegations of sexual abuse and the immediate protection of all women and children forced to reside in the facility."
Naturally Geo Group, the for-profit prison operator who owns the facility (and has seen its fair share of controversy) has refuted the allegations maintaining that the facility is a "safe, clean, and family-friendly environment for mothers and children" because deny deny deny. However just last week, another letter from the University of Texas School of Law asked federal immigration officers to look into the same center after detainees complained about a lack of access to nutritious snacks for their children.
This is a terrible ordeal for these women and their children to undergo, and hopefully with mounting allegations against the center Immigration can get to the bottom of this immediately.
Image via Getty.