New Report Shows Egregious Failure to Redress Complaints Against ICE and CBP
DHS Must Review and Act upon Individual Claims and Provide Concrete Mechanisms for Accountability
For Immediate Release
April 27, 2021
Arianna Rosales, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new report by the National Immigration Project, Complaints Ignored, Abuses Excused: Why the Department of Homeland Security’s Internal Accountability Mechanisms Must Be Reformed sheds light on the lack of oversight and accountability across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Through summaries of often long-pending complaints detailing medical neglect, retaliation, inhumane use of solitary or quarantine confinement, and much more, the report reveals the agenciesâ€™ unchecked abuse and misconduct.
In the weeks leading up to President Biden’s inauguration, the National Immigration Project called on its members and allied organizations to submit complaints of harm caused by ICE and CBP, including those that were unaddressed or improperly closed by the last administration. The cases highlighted in the report present a small sampling of the widespread and systematic harm these agencies continue to inflict on immigrants without being held to account.
“From blatant medical neglect to systematic misconduct — the complaints summarized in this report unveil the rampant abuse and unchecked culture of impunity within ICE and CBP.”
Cristina Velez, NIPNLG
“From blatant medical neglect to systematic misconduct — the complaints summarized in this report unveil the rampant abuse and unchecked culture of impunity within ICE and CBP. We call on DHS to investigate each and every claim, a critical first step toward justice for people who have been treated inhumanely by these agencies. Ultimately, we hope this report provides an impetus for the Biden-Harris administration to not only to overhaul DHS’s internal accountability mechanisms, but also to fundamentally rethink its approach to enforcement,” said Cristina Velez, Senior Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Project and co-author of the report.
“For many immigrants who experienced blatant violations of DHS policies and their human rights, this report shows how their complaints weren’t properly addressed. The Biden-Harris administration must overhaul DHS’s inability to reliably investigate itself. While requesting more funding is a welcome first step, there are fundamental changes in transparency, ranging from body-worn cameras with strong policy protections to prompt, transparent, and effective discipline of offending DHS personnel that must be instituted. Otherwise this report’s chilling accounts of abusers expecting to get away with their harms will continue to replicate,” said Chris Rickerd, National Immigration Project consultant and co-author of the report.
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the rights of noncitizens. NIPNLG utilizes impact litigation, advocacy, and public education to pursue its mission. Learn more at nipnlg.org. Follow NIPNLG on social media: National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild on Facebook, @NIPNLG on Twitter.