Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Report: Immigrants in Detention Subjected to Punitive and Long-Term Solitary Confinement and Denial of Due Process

Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have conducted an investigation of more than a dozen immigration detention facilities and county jails that partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain immigrants awaiting removal from the United States.  

They discovered the existence of "egregious human rights violations" resulting from the Obama administration's widespread and arbitrary use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure against immigrant detainees.  They further found that immigrant detainees in solitary confinement are regularly subjected to excessive force, harassment, and/or abuse by corrections officers.

The following is from the summary of the report:
Investigators found that solitary confinement in immigration detention facilities is often arbitrarily applied, significantly overused, harmful to detainees’ health, and inadequately monitored. Some people give up and stop fighting their immigration cases so they will not have to spend another day in “the hole.” 
These individuals are then deported to countries they may not remember, or worse, to countries where they have been persecuted or tortured. In short, the use of solitary confinement within the immigration detention system places enormous pressure on immigrants attempting to stay in the United States to abandon their options for legal relief, their families, their communities, and often the only country they have ever known.
This isn't the first report that has been issued condemning the current administration for abusing immigrant detainees.  The administration has known about the occurrences of abuse in immigration detention for years, but has done virtually nothing to correct the problem.

Click here to read the full report.

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