Immigrants At Aurora Facility Move Forward With Forced Labor Lawsuit

Immigrants At Aurora Facility Move Forward With Forced Labor Lawsuit

By: Andrea Dukakis 

Colorado Public Radio

Thousands of immigrants detained at a federal detention facility in Aurora are moving forward with claims they were forced to work for little or no money. This month, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit against the company that runs the federal facility, GEO.

LISTEN  What's Next For 60,000 Immigrants Detained In Aurora

Nina DiSalvo, of Denver-based "Towards Justice," one of the groups representing the plaintiffs, tells Colorado Matters what comes next.

The lawsuit involves about 62,000 immigrants who've been detained at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora since 2004. These are people with pending immigration status -- maybe they came to the U.S. illegally or had legal status that expired, or came to the U.S. seeking asylum. Among the things the detainees say they were forced to do: work for free doing janitorial work or they could apply to do other jobs and make $1 a day. If they refused, the rules at GEO say that they'll be punished and the punishment could involve solitary confinement.