Four women who were in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sued an ICE contractor in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday for alleged inhumane, abusive and unsafe treatment when they were transferred from facilities in Richmond to Bakersfield in 2017.
The four women, citizens of Mexico, were among nine detainees transported by contractor G4S Secure Solutions from the West County Detention Facility in Richmond to the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield on July 17 and 18, 2017.
The lawsuit filed on their behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union claims that during transit, the G4S employees kept the women in shackles in an extremely hot, windowless van with no food, water, medication, air circulation or toilet access, causing them vomit, faint, suffer heat-stroke symptoms and fear they would die.
The trip took more than 24 hours, with stops in San Francisco, Gilroy and Fresno and two meager meals during the stops, according to the lawsuit.
The suit asks for financial compensation and as well as a punitive damages award.
A spokesperson for G4S Secure Solutions, based in Jupiter, Fla., was not immediately available for comment.