Bloggings on Deportation and Removal

by Matthew Kolken

Infiltration Leads to DHS Opening Civil Rights Investigations into ICE


NATIONAL—After being infiltrated and exposed by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will now have to comply with a civil rights investigation by the Department of Homeland Security into five separate incidents of detainee mistreatment. NIYA will make the communication from DHS (with personal case information redacted) available to reporters upon request.

In response to infiltration of ICE facilities in Florida and Michigan, ICE has accused NIYA twice of making false allegations. Every single detainee ICE releases because of our organizing, however, stands as a small admission of guilt from the agency. With this forthcoming investigation into five separate incidents of mistreatment, we may finally get a deeper admission of wrongdoing from DHS and their private contractor, GEO Group, Inc.

Yesterday, Michigan ICE informed us that they will release our infiltrator there, Claudia Munoz. We have obtained information of serious mistreatment—including verbal abuse that authorities internally have tried to correct—that we will make public in the coming days. Everilda Calvo-Sanchez, a detainee from Guatemala who is eligible for legal residence, was released two weeks ago after NIYA exposed her case as a failing of local ICE officials to follow national ICE policy.

NIYA will continue to organize against the attacks on immigrant communities and the indignities immigrants must face in detention. We know local ICE officials, like Regional director Rebecca Adducci, do not follow policies set forth by their national office until we hold them accountable. We stand by our demand that Adducci be fired or resign, and we will continue to bring ICE’s wrongdoing to light, anywhere and everywhere.

Last summer, 26 members of Congress supported our call for a full review of all cases inside Broward Transitional Center. While that demand has not yet been met, this investigation is admission that the behavior of their local officials is too repugnant to ignore, even by their supervising department.

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About The Author

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).

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.