Friday, December 22, 2017

Doe v. Kelly (9th Cir. - Dec. 22, 2017)

There are few things more peaceful than a University over the holiday break.  Few things colder, either.  At least in Southern California.  No professors, no students, and the office heat on "vacant" mode.  So it's quiet and a great place to work.  Except for the shivering.

Things could definitely be worse.  At lot worse.  To take but one example, you could be a detainee at an immigration facility near Tucson.  To say that things are bad there -- really bad -- is a significant understatement.  Even after the preliminary injunction entered below, but especially before it.

Maybe I should have realized just how bad it was to be picked up as an unauthorized alien.  Especially for those first few days.  But I didn't know.  I didn't know we did things like this.

"Discovery revealed that between June 10, 2015, and September 28, 2015, only about 3,000 of approximately 17,000 detainees were processed out of detention within 12 hours. About 8,644 detainees were held at a Border Patrol station up to 23 hours; 6,807 were held for up to 47 hours; 1,207 were held up to 71 hours; and 476 were held for 72 hours or more. . . .

[O]f the 16,992 detainees held between June 10 and September 28, 2015, only 122 were recorded to have received a mat, and the others’ bedding needs were met with only a Mylar sheet/blanket. . . . the harshness caused by the lack of mats and the inadequacy of the Mylar blankets is compounded by the Defendants’ practices of keeping holding-cells lights turned on 24-7, feeding one of the three regular hot meals to detainees at 4:00 a.m., moving detainees in and out of holding cells throughout the night for processing, overcrowding cells which causes people to lie cramped together and next to toilet facilities or to sit or stand up, and because the hard concrete floors and benches retain the cold caused by low thermostat temperatures and make it too hard and cold to sleep."

So basically, for up to three days (or more), you're crammed into a room with no bed, freezing your butt off with only a Mylar sheet, crammed into a tiny room with the lights on 24/7, unable to sleep or lie down -- again, for three days -- while people get moved in and out all day and night.

Not good.  Not good at all.  (And I'm not going to even talk about the toilet situation.  OMG.)

That this isn't our own lot is yet another thing to be thankful for during this holiday season.