Liborio Ramos v. G4S Secure Solutions (Detainee Transport)
In July 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit demanding records related to the treatment of immigrants detained by ICE, particularly transportation by contractor G4S Secure Solutions.
In regions throughout the country, ICE subcontracts with G4S to transport immigrants in its custody. The private contractor has been criticized for its treatment of detainees. In California, ICE regularly subjects detained immigrants to burdensome and lengthy voyages, fully shackled with limited access to food, water, and toilets.
The ACLU Foundation and Goodwin Procter LLP filed a lawsuit May 21, 2019 on behalf of four women who were shackled by their hands and feet in a hot van during suffocating heat, causing them to struggle for breath and fear they would die. They were among a group of nine detainees who in July 2017 spent more than 24 hours being moved from the West County Detention Facility in Richmond to the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield. The two cities are less than five hours driving distance apart.
The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of the women for the extreme mental and physicial anguish that they were subjected to by G4S during transport between detention facilities. This most recent suit is the latest in a series of claims by the ACLU to highlight these egregious abuses and hold the federal government and its contractor accountable.