Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has failed to turn over records related to reports that Congolese and Cameroonian immigrants were tortured into accepting deportation under the Trump administration. CREW is suing ICE for records that document the physical abuse and threats of deportation of immigrants reportedly experienced while detained at Adams County Correctional Center (ACCC) in Mississippi, after previously filing a FOIA for such records. The release of these records will allow for greater transparency so that the public is able to hold ICE, an agency notoriously shrouded in secrecy, accountable for these and any future abuses.
Reports of abuse of migrants deserve renewed attention with ICE authorities continuing to deport immigrants despite President Biden’s 100 day moratorium on deportations, raising questions around ICE process and procedure. ICE’s sibling agency, the US Customs and Border Patrol, has recently received flack for reportedly attempting “to sabotage the Biden administration,” by intentionally slowing down the processing of detained migrant children into the US. CBP has also reportedly attempted to make the agency even less transparent by prohibiting CBP officials from talking to the media, a tactic the Trump administration used to limit public understanding of the inner workings of the administration.
ICE’s failures in transparency are nothing new. CREW recently won a victory in court that stopped ICE’s destruction of records documenting complaints of sexual and physical abuse of detained people. Still, the fact that ICE had attempted to destroy such records speaks to the lengths that ICE goes to skirt transparency and avoid accountability. Now, the public deserves to know if ICE was using their taxpayer dollars to fund the torture of Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants under ICE custody.
March 17, 2021