The Detention Watch Network, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system, has coordinated the release of ten reports which detail the "acute and chronic human right violations occurring in immigration detention" in the United States. The report is entitled: Expose & Close.
The report determined that: "there is no facility among the approximately 250 in operation at the time of publication where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reliably protects those inside from physical and sexual abuse," and there is a systemic failure to provide basic medical care.
From the executive summary of the report:
ICE currently incarcerates more than 400,000 immigrants every year in 33,400 prison and jail beds. Immigrants in ICE custody are technically in civil detention, meaning that they are locked up to ensure that they show up for their hearings and comply with the courts decision, not because of any crime.
While no person should have to suffer the hardships of incarceration as it is practiced in the U.S., those who are in prisons and jails serving time for criminal convictions have legal protections that immigrants do notfor example the right to a lawyer and to a speedy trial.
The majority of people in immigration detention do not have the right to a bond. This means that people can spend months and sometimes years locked up while they work to prove that they have the right to stay in the U.S., without ever having the chance to ask a judge to let them remain with their families while their cases are ongoing.
Harsh deportation policies also mean that there are more and more points of entry in the immigration enforcement pipeline sending a record number of people into detention.
Click here to read the report.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).