They held in detention centers received payments as low as 13 cents per hour.
The U.S. government is the largest employer of undocumented immigrants in detention even without paying through economic and despite that prohibits hiring private companies, the newspaper The New York Times.
The newspaper, citing official figures, last year 60 thousand immigrants, undocumented and detained in detention centers across the country, most were employed in exchange for payments as low as 13 cents an hour.
As a result the federal government and private companies that handle these detention centers have had a savings of $ 40 million or more a year.
Essentially this converts the government the largest employer of undocumented immigrants in the country, despite prohibiting any hiring,” said the newspaper Carl Takei, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The newspaper noted that not all economic immigrants receive payment for their work, which includes tasks such as preparing food for the prison population, flush toilets, halls or meeting the clean laundry.
Revealed that immigrants detained in local prisons work for free or are paid in kind: sodas and sweets, and in cases of some detention centers receive extra recess time.
Although officials insist that such work is legal, immigrant advocates groups question whether it is a voluntary thing, accusing the government and private companies to manipulate the rules governing this activity.
Citing testimony from immigrants, The New York Times said in Houston, Texas, the guards of these centers pressure on immigrants to do the job vacated by other detainees who refuse to do so.
The practice is facing growing resistance from some of the detainees and has already led to legal action.
Last April immigration authorities in the city of Takoma, Washington, were accused in a lawsuit to put in solitary confinement after immigrants staged a hunger strike in protest of this kind of work.
“They are making money while working for them,” said Jose Moreno Olmedo, a Mexican immigrant who participated in the hunger strike and who was released on bail of the center in March.
Pedro Guzman, an immigrant originally from Guatemala, mistakenly arrested and sent to one of these centers, said to earn $ 15 an hour as a cook in states like California, Minnesota, went on to get a dollar working in the kitchen of the prison was confined to 19 months.
Guzman also told the newspaper that was forced to work with a fever and when he was late for his shift, the guards threatened to send him to solitary confinement.