Immigrants Held in Freezing Cold Cells: "Your Lips Split"

Thinkstock

They call them las hieleras ("the freezers") -- unbearably cold cells at stations along the United States-Mexico border used to hold immigrants who have been caught border crossing.

For a countless amount of days, immigrants are held in rooms where the temperatures are kept so low, that many men, women and children have wound up developing illnesses and suffering from a lack of sleep.

"It's so cold, you're trembling," said one woman to The Daily Beast. "Your lips split."

According to The Daily Beast, nearly 3,000 immigrants claim to have suffered through these extremely cold conditions. And lawyers to many of those detained believe that these border crossers are being placed in freezing rooms as a form of punishment.

"There's a point where [the temperature] is deliberately turned down to harass people and make them unable to sleep," Michele Garnett McKenzie, advocacy director at The Advocates for Human Rights, told The Daily Beast. "And that's where the allegation is here."

Several lawmakers have already begun seeking a solution to this problem, including Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who proposed a bill earlier this year called Protect Family Values at the Border Act.

Share this 
About this author

Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

Priscilla Rodriguez is Latina.com’s Associate Editor. She provides coverage on nearly every topic with a focus on celebrity entertainment. Before hitting the pavement at Latina, Priscilla worked for various outlets including Teen.com, InStyle and Us Weekly. You can follow her on Twitter at @priscilrodrig.

Like this post? Contribute to the discussion!