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CIVIC Files Civil Rights Complaint Based on Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention Facilities

CIVIC Files Civil Rights Complaint Based on Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention Facilities

An immigrant advocacy organization, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), has filed an official complaint with the Office for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The content of CIVIC’s complaint concerns current conditions in immigration detention facilities, and the U.S. government’s failure to adequately investigate the alleged conditions. Advocates claim that there are substantial numbers of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment in many immigration detention centers. More specifically, CIVIC obtained public records from the DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that detail the 1,016 complaints of sexual abuse made by people in immigration detention between May 2014 and July 2016. On average, this equates to at least one complaint per day during this time period; nonetheless, OIG investigated only 24 of those complaints, or 2.4% of the total. There were more complaints against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) than any other DHS agency. In addition to these reports of sexual abuse, DHS also received 402 reports of coerced sexual contact, 196 reports of sexual harassment, and 380 reports of physical or sexual abuse. Unfortunately, reports of this nature regarding immigration detention facilities are not anything new or unusual. Other immigration advocacy and human rights organizations have leveled complaints in the past at DHS and its predecessor agency. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund all have alleged incidents of sexual abuse in immigration detention facilities in the past. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. have handled countless deportation defense claims on behalf of individuals who have been detained and charged with removal. We know how devastating it can be for individuals to be detained and separated from their families; even worse is the increased potential for sexual abuse while being held in immigration detention facilities. We care about you and your family, and we want to help you remain in the country. Call our office today to set up your legal consultation.

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