Essex immigration detainee centers don’t meet federal standards, report says

Essex County immigrant detention facilities fail to meet national standards for housing immigrant detainees, according to a report expected to be released Friday.

The New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees says detainees are given inadequate medical attention and are mistreated by guards and staff at several Essex County facilities. The immigration advocacy group also claims immigrants are given limited access to legal representatives.

The report comes at the heels of a September 2011 contract between the county and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which more than doubled the amount of detainees housed in Essex County facilities.

Currently, about 1,250 immigrant detainees per day are housed at the Essex County Correctional Facility and Delaney Hall.

“It is shocking how little has changed for immigrant detainees in Essex County,” said Karina Wilkinson, co-founder of the Middlesex County Coalition for Immigrant Rights, in a statement.

“Before the expansion, we received numerous complaints about mistreatment from guards and, despite new requirements for guard training, mistreatment continues,” she said.

According to the report, several inmates complained that guards cursed at detainees and told them that they “were going to get deported.”

The immigrant advocacy group plans to release the report during a news conference at Rutgers-Newark Center for Law & Justice Friday.

Essex immigration detainee centers don’t meet federal standards, report says