A U.S. judge in Arizona on Wednesday handed a legal victory to migrants who argued that U.S. Border Patrol facilities hold detainees in extremely inhumane and unsanitary conditions. U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury’s ruling came weeks after a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in cold, overcrowded, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions, the AP reported. The order makes permanent a 2016 preliminary injunction mandating the Tucson Sector to issue clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours, and to allow them to clean themselves. Bury also barred the agency from holding migrants for more than 48 hours if they have been fully processed and utilizing bathrooms for sleeping. “Today’s decision is a tremendous victory for communities everywhere fighting courageously to uphold human dignity and the rights enshrined in our Constitution,” said Alvaro M. Huerta, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.
Bury wrote in his order on Wednesday that the defendants in the case “administer a detention system that deprives detainees, who are held in CBP stations, Tucson Sector, longer than 48 hours, of conditions of confinement that meet basic human needs.” Roughly 12,000 people were reportedly in custody for more than 72 hours in the Tucson Sector last year.