ACLU Files Brief Opposing Geo Group’s Treatment of Immigrants in Detention Center

By Cindy Chen

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU Foundation of Northern California, and ACLU Foundation of Southern California have filed an amicus brief in the case of In Re GEO Group, Inc. d/b/a Golden State Annex.

This case centers on allegations of health and safety violations against the GEO Group, Inc, and its treatment of immigrant workers detained at the Golden State Annex detention facility.

Headquartered in Bota Raton, Florida, the GEO Group, Inc. is a publicly traded C corporation that operates detention facilities internationally.

This legal action, said the ACLU, marks a historic milestone, marking the first instance where the California State Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (CAL/OSH) has imposed fines on GEO Group for its treatment of immigrant workers, who are compensated at a only $1 per day. GEO Group has appealed.

The crux of the ACLU’s amicus brief lies in the contention that immigrant workers should not be excluded from the appeals process.

The ACLU argues an administrative law judge made an erroneous determination by classifying these individuals as “prisoners,” deeming them ineligible to participate in an appeal before the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board.

“People in immigrant detention are not awaiting criminal trials or serving prison sentences, but rather, are awaiting adjudication of their civil immigration cases or removal from the United States pursuant to federal immigration law,” the ACLU asserted.

The ACLU added, “For these reasons, the detained immigrant workers at Golden Gate Annex are not precluded from the appeal proceedings under Section 6304.4.”

The ACLU contends there have been “documented instances of retaliation against detained immigrants (including by GEO staff) have included threats and use of solitary confinement, excessive use of force and pepper spray, confiscation of medical equipment, denial of access to legal representatives, and egregious verbal abuse and intimidation.”

Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, stated, “For too long, GEO Group has operated with little public oversight and accountability, and have exploited detained immigrant workers, with no regard for their health and safety.

“It’s time that GEO Group is finally held accountable. These immigrant workers should have the opportunity to defend their claims and ensure they receive the justice they deserve.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for