Despite numerous DHS Office of Inspector General reports indicating that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is failing to comply with detention standards, these inspections have not led to sustained improvements. Further, ICE facilities have been reported by outside sources to be dangerous—even life-threatening—which continues to fuel concern over the treatment of detainees.
CREW has requested records from the Department of Homeland Security regarding any evaluations, observations, or discussion of ICE facilities’ compliance with ICE detention standards, as well as DHS Inspector General recommendations, since January 1, 2017.
While some of these concerns have remained unaddressed for years, a number have undoubtedly worsened as President Trump pursues a “zero-tolerance” policy at the border, inflating the number of detainees and leaving too many without proper care. Even with the presence of onsite monitoring and follow-up processes at ICE facilities, authorities have not seemed particularly pressed to follow DHS recommendations and improve unsafe conditions.
These documents will bring long overdue attention to whether ICE implements feedback from the Detention Monitor Service and to the extent of ICE compliance with detention standards and the judgement of the DHS. If ICE is failing to respond to recommendations and subsequently causing unnecessary suffering and deaths of detainees, the public deserves to know.