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ACLU Files Suit Against S.D. Immigration Detention Center

The ACLU joined an existing lawsuit Wednesday over conditions at a San Diego detention center used to house suspected undocumented immigrants. A Kenyan man who’s been detained at the facility for two

ACLU Files Suit Against S.D. Immigration Detention Center

The ACLU joined an existing lawsuit Wednesday over conditions at a San Diego detention center used to house suspected undocumented immigrants. A Kenyan man who’s been detained at the facility for two years filed the suit in federal court in 2005. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

The complaint says more than 650 people at the facility are living on top of each other --sometimes for day, sometimes for years.

Three detainees are routinely packed into cells designed for two people.The complaint says one person sleeps on the floor on a plastic mattress about a foot from the toilet.

Blair Loy: That in itself is unconstitutional.

David Blair Loy is the ACLU’s legal director in San Diego.

Blair Loy: You can’t stand at the toilet without spraying the person on the floor with toilet water or urine. The plumbing is overtaxed. Urine and feces back up onto the floor where people have to sleep.

Immigration officials would not comment on the lawsuit. But they concede the facility is usually 30 to 40-percent over capacity.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.