Court: Class Action Over Abusive Conditions in Tucson Detention Center Can Move Forward

A federal court in Tucson, Arizona held that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must answer allegations of horrific conditions experienced by individuals in Tucson Sector detention facilities (a.k.a. “hieleras”) along the southern border. In decisions handed down on January 11, the court decided that the case, Doe V. Johnson, may proceed as a class action (i.e., the court “certified” the class) and rejected the government’s motion to dismiss. CBP had strenuously urged the court to dismiss the case even before plaintiffs had the chance to prove their claims.



“At a minimum, . . . ‘an individual detained under civil process – like an individual accused but not convicted of a crime – cannot be subjected to conditions that ‘amount to punishment.’”

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