Watchdog Found Violations Of ICE's Own Standards In Detention Centers

Published: Friday, July 10, 2020 - 7:44am
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An independent government watchdog found violations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s own detention standards during unannounced visits to facilities last year.

The report from the Homeland Security Inspector General looked at detention centers in Washington, New Mexico, Texas and Florida. Investigators found violations that meant shortfalls to protect detainee rights and keep facilities safe.

Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project, said the weakness of the report is that it only makes one recommendation.  

“This office, in particular under the Trump administration, is not willing to take DHS and ICE to task for the abuses that are happening in immigration detention facilities,” Cho said.

The Inspector General recommended that ICE meet its own detention standards. ICE agreed, saying it will make sure all problems are fixed, and estimated finishing the work by the end of this year.

The closest facility to Arizona covered in the report is the privately run Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico. There investigators found that CoreCivic staff didn’t have paperwork to support reasons why detainees had been isolated. And staff could not show proof of investigations into detainee complaints like the use of homophobic slurs toward transgender people.

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