Surveillance footage shows life inside “Ice Boxes”

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Inside the "Iceboxes"

Graphic images of men, women, and children in cramped and unsanitary rooms known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, were released as part of evidence in the case of Doe v. Johnson. U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules dictate that detainees should be held for no more than 12 hours, but evidence suggests that individuals were in detention for an average of 49.9 hours

Graphic images of men, women, and children in cramped and unsanitary rooms known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, were released as part of evidence in the case of  Doe v. Johnson.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities are under increased scrutiny, and their request to prevent this evidence from being released to the public was denied by the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

These Tuscon -region “iceboxes” are  holding cells designed to detain immigrants on a short term basis, as they wait for processing. Customs and Border protection rules dictate that a detainee should not be held for more than 12 hours, but data obtained by the American Immigration Council show that individuals were in detention for an average of 49.9 hours. These are rooms without beds, without suitable bathrooms and in some cases, one jug of water among the group. The following pictures illustrate what life is like in these extended stays in the “icebox.”

If you’re outraged by these facts and images, please share them with your friends. They are hard to look at, but are important to changing the way our government treats those seeking shelter by coming here.

A man drinks from a communal water jug in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A man drinks from a communal water jug in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A group of detainees sleep in Mylar blankets in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A group of detainees sleep in Mylar blankets in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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A mother with her child in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Detainees sleep in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Detainees sleep in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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A child adjusts his mylar blanket in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Bathrooms are in full view in a Tucson-area holding cell operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

 

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