Us Female Migrant Detainees Given Bags to Use as Toilets

A California congressman is calling for an inquiry into claims that female immigration detainees are being locked in rooms for 23 hours a day and given plastic bags to use as a toilet.

One detainee begged to be deported to Honduras rather than stay in the jail, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Contra Costa County sheriff, who runs the centre, denies the claims.

The West County Detention Facility in the city of Richmond is operated by the local sheriff's office under a $6m annual contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the newspaper.

The county public information officer, Jimmy Lee, told the BBC: "There are bags."

Dianny Patricia Menendez, who had been held at the jail since May, told the Chronicle that inmates were handed red biodegradable bags to use as a toilet.

"We are responsible for over 1,600 inmates every day, day in and day out," he said, "and the allegations of the few ICE female detainees are a fraction of this number."

Twenty-seven female detainees at the jail signed a letter dated September saying they were being treated poorly because of their immigration status.