This is disgusting.
A man detained by ICE was told by an officer that he would “bet for him in a fight against another detainee.” When the man refused to engage in fights for entertainment and tried to file a complaint, the officer told him, “No one will believe baboon complaints.”
The detained man was then subjected to retaliation and further humiliation. Officers denied him hygiene products and his food was thrown away. They continued to refer to him as a “baboon” and “gorilla,” and encouraged others to “rattle his cage.”
Immigrants in detention are often subjected to bigoted remarks by facility personnel. The incident at Bristol County House of Corrections is just one of at least 800 complaints of abuse motivated by hate in 34 immigration detention facilities that have been documented since President Donald Trump took office, according to a new report from Freedom for Immigrants.
Dehumanizing conditions at immigration detention facilities were rife under President Barack Obama’s administration, but advocacy groups say that the Trump administration’s racist rhetoric emboldened ICE officers and other immigration detention officials to respond to the those in their custody with mounting disdain, leading to a rise in reported incidents. Trump infamously launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, criminals, and drug dealers, and more recently referred to immigrants as “animals” and used the word “infest” to describe migrants arriving in the U.S.
“As the report showed, variations of the word ‘monkey,’ ‘baboon,’ and ‘King Kong’ — all kinds of animals — have been used as abuse in detention, where there’s no real consequence or oversight over those who carry out abuse,” said Liz Martinez, director of advocacy and strategic communications at Freedom for Immigrants. “A lot of what’s happening is hidden from public view, and it’s intensified under this administration. Even though it was happening under Obama, it’s something that under Trump we’ve seen intensify and increase.”