ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall are calling for an investigation into conditions for detainees at all Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities.
“We are troubled by continued reports of inhumane treatment at ICE detention facilities that appear to be widespread at facilities housing ICE detainees across the country,” the Democratic senators wrote in a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari.
They singled out the ICE detention center in southern New Mexico for special attention in the letter sent Monday: “We write to express our deep concern about the reports of inhumane treatment at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, such as the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico.”
ICE was not immediately available Monday to comment on the letter.
Udall and Heinrich said they support Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request on Oct. 25 for an investigation of conditions in Otero. Three men from Cuba detained in the facility operated by Management and Training Corporation for ICE tried to commit suicide last month, according to attorneys and advocates who have visited the facility.
ICE confirmed two men tried to “harm themselves,” but said they only “scratched their wrists” before staff intervened. A third man, Iosnaiqui Acosta-Columbie, a 32-year-old asylum-seeker from Cuba, cut his wrist and was bleeding as he was being taken to solitary confinement in October, according to his attorney.