Photo: Henderson Detention Center
Undocumented immigrants held at Nevada’s Henderson Detention Center suffer frequent verbal abuse and do not receive adequate legal assistance, a new report says.
According to a study by the Immigration Clinic at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Boyd School of Law, detainees at Henderson have been subjected to racial insults, mistreatment and threats.
“We have the hope that the detected abuses in our report will be able to be corrected,” clinic co-director Fatma Marouf told Efe on Wednesday.
The report, based on interviews with some 29 detained immigrants, found that at least 11 of the detainees reported having been mistreated, threatened or insulted with racial epithets by agents at the center, which is operated by the Henderson police department.
Nine of the detainees said that they had been pressured, harassed or forced to sign legal documents the legal content of which they did not understand.
Some of these documents could be linked with the deportation of the foreigners or longer detainment times, Marouf said.
The report also found that seven detainees complained that they had routinely been denied access to a telephone.
Henderson police responded to the report by stating in a communique that they would review each of the points raised therein. However, department spokesman Keith Paul said that some of the complaints come from incidents in 2011 that have already been rectified.
The city of Henderson received $100 per day for each detainee at the center and the federal contract provides annual earnings of about $5 million.
“We believe that the problems identified in our report are quite fixable,” Marouf said at a Nov. 19 meeting of the Henderson City Council. “Compared to many detention centers in the country, HDC is in many ways on track.”