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Earlier this month, the DHS Office of Inspector General (IG) released a report on “Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities.” According to the ACLU, the way to address the violationsdescribed in this “damning new report” is to “release people from immigration detention and prohibit ICE from using dangerous and inhumane jails.”

The IG found problems at four of the five detention centers it inspected, but it is a stretch to call the report “damning” or to claim that ICE is “using dangerous and inhumane jails.” Many of the problems were relatively minor, and, apparently, all of them are going to be corrected.

In addition to federal service centers, ICE uses facilities owned and operated by private companies and state and local government facilities. The contracts of facilities that hold ICE detainees require them to adhere to the 2000 National Detention Standards, the 2008 Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS), or the 2011 PBNDS.

Findings.

Intake Issues That Could Affect Safety and Privacy. Centers are required to classify detainees according to their crimes to ensure that high-and low-risk detainees can be separated. Violent felonies are high-risk crimes. Criminal background information was not always available when detainees arrived. This resulted in housing some high-risk detainees with low-risk detainees.

At another center, staff strip searched all detainees upon admission. This is prohibited unless there is a “reasonable suspicion” based on “specific and articulable facts that would lead a reasonable officer to believe that a specific detainee is in possession of contraband.” ICE is no longer housing detainees at this center.

Language Barriers Hamper Communication. The centers are required to provide language assistance to detainees, but this requirement was not always met. Although detainees were given handbooks with information about essential services upon arrival, they were not always in a language they could understand.

Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...tion-detention

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.