Administration

ICE shut down hotline for detained immigrants after it was featured on 'Orange Is the New Black': report

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly shut down a toll-free hotline for detained immigrants to connect with a lawyer after it was featured on the hit Netflix series "Orange Is The New Black."

The Los Angeles Times reported that a hotline operated for several years by the Freedom for Immigrants organization was shut down less than two weeks after it was mentioned on the show.

Christina Fialho, co-executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, told the Times that the move was retaliatory.

"Even a freely given benefit such as the pro bono hotline can't be taken away simply because the government is now unhappy with how we are sharing with the public what we know from our communications with people inside," she said.

Representatives for ICE and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill.

The hotlines were the only toll-free option that many immigrants in the detention facilities had, as they do not have the right to a free phone call upon being detained and the facilities do not allow calls to 1-800 numbers.

The Freedom for Immigrants' number was accessible to detainees through an extension.

Cast members of "Orange Is the New Black" have called upon ICE to restore the hotline.

"Now we see life mimic art in the most destructive way," Laura Gomez, who plays Blanca on the show, told the Los Angeles Times. "I wish this were more of a fictional situation and we were exaggerating reality, but it's kind of the other way around."

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