Huffpost Latino Voices

Protestors Target Excessive Phone Rates for Immigrant Detainees

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In this undated photo, immigrants walk to hearings at the Stewart Detention Center in Lupmkin, Ga. A week before mandatory budget cuts go into effect across the government, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. | AP/File

RICHMOND, Calif. – At the West County Detention Facility, inmates can pay upwards of $20 for a five-minute phone call to friends, relatives or lawyers. While the high rates are a cash cow for the prison, for detainees they have become a major hurdle to staying in touch with the outside.

For immigrant detainees and their families, the high phone rates can lead to total isolation.

“$50 gets about 15 minutes of actual talk time,” said Roberto dela Rosa, whose mother is currently being held at WCDF. Dela Rosa noted that with repeated dropped calls and reconnection fees, the cost of a single conversation rivals a single families’ monthly phone bill.

Read the whole story at New America Media

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