If you are a Latin American immigrant in Spain and have no documentation, you could wind up in one of the infamous CIEs (Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros), the detention centers for foreigners established by Spanish authorities. Conditions in these centers are so harsh that they’ve been compared to poorly-maintained prisons. Thousands of undocumented migrants are locked up in these controversial facilities for up to two months, and some of them end up deported to the very countries they’ve risked their lives to escape. In fact, a fight erupted on a recent flight from Madrid to Dakar, after a person of Senegalese origin that was being deported tried to resist entering the plane, asking other passengers for help.
Human rights groups have complained of abysmal conditions and systemic abuses inside the facilities. There are also complaints that some Latinos end up there unfairly. Spanish authorities have shown no signs of reforming the detention centers. In fact, they’re building more.
Americas Now correspondent Gerry Hadden filed this report on Spain’s CIEs and the treatment of undocumented Latinos.