Yazmin Juarez, whose one-year-old daughter, Mariee, died shortly after the two were released from the United States’ largest family detention center, has filed a claim against the U.S. government, seeking $60 million in damages.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that, according to Juarez’s lawyer, Mariee died in May after developing a respiratory illness while she was detained with her mother at the south Texas Family Residential Center, located in Dilley, Texas. Mariee died in Philadelphia six weeks after being released from the detention center. Juarez claims U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released her and Mariee without providing adequate care.
The government now has six months to respond the claim before a lawsuit can be filed. R. Stanton Jones, a lawyer at a firm (Arnold & Porter) which is reportedly prepared to file that suit should the time come, told the AP, “Having made the decision to jail small children, the U.S. government is responsible to provide living conditions that are safe, sanitary and appropriate.”
The AP also reported that, “Advocates have long complained he medical care in Dilley is substandard and that detaining families damages their mental health.” ICE, of course, does not think these family prisons are improperly run. A spokeswoman for the agency named Jennifer Elzea maintained, “ICE takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care.’
Mothers and children, some of whom have been reunited after being separated at the border earlier this year, are still being detained at Dilley.