Civil Rights Coalition Sues Over Immigrants' Access to Lawyers

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A coalition of lawyers filed a lawsuit Friday to halt the quick deportation of Central American women and children, saying immigrants at the Artesia, New Mexico, detention center don't have proper access to lawyers and are being forced to clean restrooms and retell stories of violence and rape in front of their children.

The American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups, which filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, say officials are putting illegal barriers between detainees and their lawyers by limiting consultation time and not allowing them to talk on the phone for more than five minutes.

The suit claims that women are being forced to clean restrooms to earn more phone privileges and says that in asylum hearings, they often have to recount stories of rape and violence in front of their children. An email to an ICE spokeswoman seeking comment wasn't immediately answered.



— The Associated Press