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Request for Information Concerning Legal Visits

An open letter to:

ICE Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer Hilario Leal, ICE Assistant Field Office Director Juanita P. Hester, Nora Estimbo Lacy, and Deborah Achim

Dear AFOD Hester, SDDO Leal, Ms. Lacy, and Ms. Achim,

1) With this e-mail, I request the written legal visitation policy for the Karnes facility at 409 FM 1144, Karnes City, Texas.

I make this request pursuant to the 2011 ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards as modified by the 2013 Errata to PBNDS, at 5.7-J-155.

I did not find anything in the 2013 Errata, pertaining to the availability of a written legal visitation policy.

2) Please tell us when the written policy for legal visitation for Karnes at 409 FM 1144, Karnes City, Texas was adopted.

3) Please tell us whether the policy for legal visitation at the 409 FM 1144 Karnes facility was changed at all when ICE re-designated the facility from a detention center to a “family residential center” in 2014.

If the legal visitation policy changed, please tell me what those changes were.

4) Please also tell me where this written legal visitation policy is posted or otherwise available.

I have seen various policies or bits of policies posted in the lobby of the ICE facility at 409 FM 1144. However, your rules have prohibited me taking photographs of those policies.

5) Please tell me if there are any ADDITIONAL rules for visitation, made up by GEO, that you have approved or endorse or help enforce.

If so, please tell me what those rules are, when they were approved by ICE, by what office in ICE they were approved, and either send me a copy of those rules or tell me where I may read them.

6) Please tell me whether Victoria Rossi is prohibited from coming to ICE facility at 409 FM 1144, in the capacity of paralegal because

a) Victoria Rossi is a security threat as a paralegal but not as an interpreter
– if so, please explain;

b) Victoria Rossi broke a rule
–if so, please identify the rule that Victoria Rossi broke and the source of that rule (in writing);

c) as punishment because Victoria Rossi visited Karnes as a paralegal when you only authorized her as an interpreter;

d) as punishment because a third party made a call to the wrong office to request permission for a photographer to visit Karnes;

e) as punishment for writing and publishing an article about her visit to Karnes;

f) in order to deter other people who have been authorized as interpreters for coming as paralegals;

g) in order to deter people from calling the wrong office to request media access;

h) in order to deter other interpreters or paralegals or visitors from publishing articles about their observations and experiences at Karnes;

i) some combination of these reasons (please identify which);

j) another reason.

7) Please clarify whether Victoria Rossi is still allowed to visit as an interpreter, as I never asked, but which you have authorized.

thank you for helping us understand,
Virginia Raymond

Virginia Marie Raymond
Lawyer * Abogada
1006 East César Chávez Street
Austin, Texas 78702