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Detainees Moved from Otay Mesa Facility

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials moved more than 200 detainees out of the immigration detention center in Otay Mesa over the weekend due to concern over inhumane conditions. The transfer

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials moved more than 200 detainees out of the immigration detention center in Otay Mesa over the weekend due to concern over inhumane conditions. The transfer comes on the heels of a lawsuit that alleges severe overcrowding at the facility is unconstitutional and puts detainees health and safety at risk. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story. Detainees say guards at the facility woke them up at three in the morning and told them they were being moved.

Detainees say guards put them into a holding tank so small they had to take turns sitting and standing...and there was no room to lie down. 

20 hours later, detainees were either bused to an immigration detention center in Florence, Arizona...or sent to a holding facility in downtown San Diego.

ACLU attorney Gaori Bhat says she doesn't object to to the transfer to relieve overcrowding, but... 

Gaori Bhat: It seems to us, and this is based on just a few conversations that we've had with a handful of detainees, that a large number of the detainees we've been in touch with were hand-picked for transfer.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack says no one was moved because of pending litigation.

She says detainees are routinely transferred to facilities where beds are available.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.