Three African migrants said they were shackled in “cruel, inhumane and degrading” conditions at a detention center near Dallas, Texas, before they were deported, The Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.
The migrants were allegedly wrapped in fabric and restrained while in custody at the Prairieland Detention Center before they were deported to Cameroon, Africa, according to The Dallas Morning News. A complaint was filed on behalf of the three detainees with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by a law professor and seven immigrant advocacy organizations.
“The darker your skin, the harsher the treatment,” one of the migrants said, the Morning News reported. Another migrant said the restraints were like torture, and a third detainee said they were shot with rubber bullets.
“Fist up, fight back,” chant immigrants and advocates today at Prairieland detention center. They’re calling for release of Cameroonian asylum-seekers inside. This is their 2nd protest at civil det. center in Alvarado. They say black immigrants r treated worst of all. #asylum pic.twitter.com/Rh6bfxpZVi
— Dianne Solis ✍🏽 (@disolis) October 22, 2020
The complaint asked for the deported men to be brought back to the U.S. and granted humanitarian parole during an investigation into Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) use of restraints, according to the Morning News.
Immigrant advocacy organization Witness at the Border podcast host Sarah Towle interviewed dozens of African migrants for the complaint, the Morning News reported. One migrant, “Castillo,” said ICE officers shot them with rubber bullets before they were deported to Africa.
While Castillo went through deportation proceedings, an official allegedly directed someone to bring them “the WRAP,” according to the Morning News.
“I was totally immobile. I was already shackled with five-point restraints,” Castillo said, the Morning News reported. (RELATED: CLU Asks Biden Admin To Shut Down ICE Detention Facilities)
The restraint device, called the WRAP, has been sold to DHS by Safe Restraints Inc., the Morning News reported. The CEO of the company, Charles Hammond, said that training in “proper use” of the device is included with the purchase and buyers can request additional training at no extra cost.
“This is not a pain tool,” Hammond said, according to the Morning News. “It is a control tool to eliminate a conflict.”
Hammond said the WRAP is about as restrictive as a seat belt, adding that he had not yet read the complaint filed with the DHS, the Morning News reported.
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