Toiletries and clean clothes were in constant shortage and sick detainees were sometimes left in their soiled clothes, he told The Intercept. Detainees worked in the center’s kitchens for as little as $1 a day — or took cleaning shifts for no money but an extra ration of food. The food itself was so bad that it was sometimes infested with maggots, yet there was always too little of it — so that detainees would be forced to buy more at the center’s commissary. “It’s all about money,” said Hidalgo, who is now free on bond.Staff at Adelanto ignored all but the most serious medical emergencies. After Hidalgo witnessed a detainee suffer seizures and staff do nothing to help him, he started organizing a detainee-run response team to help those suffering medical and mental health crises, which were frequent. When he asked the center’s staff for help, those working with the GEO Group, the private detention company that runs the center, would refer him to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “If I asked ICE, they’d say, it’s GEO’s house, so ask them and go through them,” Hidalgo said. “Back and forth, so you end up getting nothing.”
I don’t much like DHS, and I really don’t like TSA, but I’m cool with DHSOIG because it seems to be genuinely trying to get TSA to shape up, even if TSA just ignores it.
That’s the DHS Office of the Inspector General, which has released report after report pointing out TSA mistakes and buffoonery, my favorite of which is now OIG-15-45, “Allegation of Granting Expedited Screening Through TSA Pre[Check] Improperly [Redacted],” even if it is redacted. This is a remarkable document.
Here’s what happened (sorry if this is hard to read—the document appears to be “secured” against cutting and pasting):
Just to be clear, although the identity of Sufficiently Notorious Convicted Felon (hereinafter, “Felon”) has been redacted, the federal government believes this about him/her: “The traveler is a former member of a domestic terrorist group. While a member, the traveler was involved in numerous felonious criminal activities that led to arrest and conviction. After serving a multiple-year sentence, the traveler was released from prison.”
These criminal activities included “murder and offenses that involve explosives.” We know that because TSA concluded that Felon was not actually a member of TSA Pre[Check]. Or, at least, TSA did not find a record of this person applying to be a member. Nor was Felon just in the Pre[Check] lane because they weren’t busy or something like that; Felon’s boarding pass actually had Pre[Check] marking on it, including an encrypted barcode. It appears, although most of the relevant stuff is redacted, that Felon was somehow cleared through the Secure Flight program, which allows such people to print their own boarding passes.
Exactly how this happened is, of course, redacted, but may have to do with the various “no-fly lists.” I infer that from the fact that OIG made a recommendation that had to do with these lists (the recommendation itself is redacted), and TSA told it to get lost. Had the relevant intelligence/law-enforcement communities felt this person was a risk, TSA responded, they’d have put him/her on a list (so this person clearly was not on such a list). So it’s the list-makers’ fault, according to TSA.