Graphic images of men, women, and children in cramped and unsanitary rooms known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, were released as part of evidence in the case of Doe v. Johnson. U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities are under increased scrutiny, and their request to prevent this evidence from being released to the public was denied by the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
These Tuscon -region “iceboxes” are holding cells designed to detain immigrants on a short term basis, as they wait for processing. Customs and Border protection rules dictate that a detainee should not be held for more than 12 hours, but data obtained by the American Immigration Council show that individuals were in detention for an average of 49.9 hours. These are rooms without beds, without suitable bathrooms and in some cases, one jug of water among the group. The following pictures illustrate what life is like in these extended stays in the “icebox.”
If you’re outraged by these facts and images, please share them with your friends. They are hard to look at, but are important to changing the way our government treats those seeking shelter by coming here.