This is a true story of how in one day with no warning, two American children, Dereck and Sandra McClurg, lost their single mother to the Department
of Homeland Security on July 01, 2004.
Penny McClurg, who has been living in the U.S.A. for 18 years and is a Legal Permanent
Resident, was seized at Tampa International Airport. There is no U.S. law covering this seizure, she was not even arrested, but was still taken to
Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, near Miami. She is no terrorist and at no time has the Dept of Homeland Security suggested that they
thought she was.
Under U.S. law, this amounts to kidnapping.
This is what Penny found at the holding unit:
"I would like to alert whoever may be interested
to know or concerned about the absolute appalling
conditions at the immigration holding unit inside
Turner Guilford Knight Correctional facility.
"This is supposed to be an Immigration Holding
facility; however, it is no different than jail
and is a violation of human rights. Some in
here may have committed a crime in the past, but
has already served their sentence. Now under the
guise of immigration holding, we are all doing
jail time that counts for absolutely nothing.
This is a jail, not immigration holding! I say
this because we eat the same food, have the same
correctional officers, and get locked down,
wearing correctional facility uniforms. We see
our visitors and family through glass. In fact
there is nothing about this place that is not
"I will be alerting any and all possible Human
Rights groups and news media to make them aware
of the Human Rights Violations and injustices
going on in this place. It's too bad nobody can
take any pictures for proof.
"We may be Aliens and not have US citizen rights,
however, we still do have Human Rights and should
not be discriminated against and held in a
complete jail setting, including cells with
locking doors for locking us down."
"The food in this place, on many occasions, is
spoiled. For example, food items like oatmeal,
beans, milk, applesauce, and stale bread also
mold has been spotted on pancakes. It's bad to
the point that I am no longer going to eat the
meals served here unless they are whole or
pre-packaged. Like cereal or whole fruit.
"I will instead be supplementing my diet from the
commissary as a lot of other woman who can afford
to do. For those who can't afford, they are stuck
having to taste test the food to make sure it is
"Before I arrived here I had no digestion
problems, however, now I can be guaranteed
indigestion if I eat the meals served. Maybe the
Miami Health Department should check into this
situation. I will forward them notice.
"Also, it would be appreciated for those of us who
wish not to dine on mystery meals (and I say
mystery meals because most of the time you can't
tell what the ingredients are) that we be
afforded some sort of device that will allow us
hot enough water to cook our own commissary
items. It is quite ironic that items that need to
be cooked are sold on the commissary, however, we
do not have a simple microwave or coffee pot to
make hot enough water to cook the food sold on
the commissary. (Again we are on "Immigration
Hold" but cannot be allowed a microwave or coffee
pot and are forced to eat items we would not
normally eat - sounds like jail!)"
Medical and Health
"When I was brought to this jail facility, I was
placed in the intake holding cell. The room I was
locked in for hours had feces smeared on the
walls and floor. I thought, well, maybe it was
just that room, however, when I was moved to
another one, it too had feces smeared on the
walls and the rooms were absolutely filthy and
disgusting. It was very apparent that these rooms
are never thoroughly cleaned or sterilized."
"I was six weeks pregnant when I came to this
place. The nurse in the intake area wanted to
take my blood, but I refused due to the
unsanitary environment I had been sitting in and
also the unsterile area the nurse wished to draw
blood in. I really have to wonder whether this
place has passed any health regulations or codes
or whether the health department would even be
allowed into this facility in its present
"I have been so distraught about the physical
conditions and cleanliness of this place. On
7/12/04 I put in a written request to see the
facility psychiatrist as I felt these above
conditions were not viable to my pregnancy. I
wanted to document the stress this facility is
causing me. My written request went ignored and
on 7/15/04, I miscarried. I was taken to Jackson
Memorial Hospital in shackles and handcuffs. I
was seated in the waiting room amongst other
pregnant women who wore looks of concern sitting
next to what looked like a criminal. I was
wearing a bright orange jail uniform and in
shackles and handcuffs with two guards at all
"I waited for three hours at which point I started
to visibly hemorrhage and only at this point did
the medical staff attend to me.
"I was supposed to go back to hospital for a
follow up, however, I was not going back through
that humiliation and violation of my human rights
unless my life depended on it.
"To date my request to see the facility
counselor has still been ignored and I have
been unable to tell anyone of the upset and
emotional stress I have gone through losing my
child in a place like this.
"This jail is not set up to handle real medical
emergencies and that is another violation of my
Human Rights, because technically I am not in
jail, but the truth is tat we are in jail and
it's as jail as jail can be.
"My fundamental liberties and rights are being
violated in this facility and the longer I am
kept in this condition, the more people I am
going to let know about it. In fact, I will make
it my mission to get Human Rights Advocates
involved in this unconstitutional situation.
"I suggest somebody do something about it, because
I am going to tell anybody and everybody that is
interested to know about it and it won't be
through the internal jail mail system as my law
books that were mailed to me from the publisher
via UPS (which is the jail stipulation for
receiving mail) were refused and sent back to the
publisher and that is yet another violation -
denying access to legal material.
"We should not be treated as inmates as we are not
doing time for a crime.
"We should be allowed to have unrestricted contact
visits from our family and friends.
"We should have proper access to medical attention
and not have to feel like that if something was
really wrong, we might die in this place.
"We should not be denied mail in any form as we
are not supposed to be in jail doing time or the
normal restrictions of a jail.
"We should be allowed products of our own choosing
and not be restricted to jail commissary
"We should be allowed to wear our own clothes, not
"We should have some sort of access to enough hot
water for coffee or items that require cooking.
"We should not be locked down like we are four
times a day. Our debts to society have already
been paid, however, obviously this kind of
treatment will continue unless others get
involved and that is exactly what I intend to do.
"My father has set up a petition on the internet at
If you would like to help me in my efforts to have my Human
Rights restored, please sign the petition"
Formally of Tarpon Springs, FL