Monday, March 10, 2008

Chertoff challenged on question of Hutto and family detention

Michael Chertoff, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, defended the Bush administration's treatment of immigrants in workplace raids and in detention at a House meeting last week.

Thursday, March 06, 2008
Read the full article at the Palm Beach Post.

Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday defended the administration's treatment of legal and illegal immigrants during workplace raids and at detention facilities.

Chertoff faced pointed questions from Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., about the treatment of children at immigrant detention facilities at the T. Don Hutto residential facility in Taylor, Texas and and a smaller facility in Berks, Pa.

Sanchez said that children at the facilities had been put in cells alone for hours, awakened in the middle of the night with flashlights in their faces and threatened with being permanently separated from their parents.

Attorneys for several of the children confined at the Hutto facility contended in lawsuits that conditions there were inhumane and violated minimum standards for minors in custody. The case ended in a settlement that included new standards for the centers.

Chertoff said that he couldn't judge the conditions because he "wasn't there," but that "eventually, this was resolved to the satisfaction of the plaintiffs."

Click here to read more about the lawsuit against Chertoff on behalf of Hutto detainees, the ACLU's settlement with the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE's subsequently-published Standards for Family Detention.