DMI Blog

Cristina Jimenez

Immigration Detention System: Broken & Out of Control

Despite reports of civil and human rights violations and close to one hundred immigrant detainees dead in immigration custody from January 2004 to November 2007, the Obama administration just rejected a federal court petition to require immigration detention facilities to comply with basic standards of care.

After the administration's decision, the National Immigration Law Center, ACLU of Southern California and Holland & Knight, released the first comprehensive report on widespread violations of immigration detention standards. The report found that the rights of immigrant detainees are "routinely, systematically violated." According to the report, detainees are denied fundamental rights like: visits from loved ones, access to legal materials, recreation time, and telephone access. Detainees also lack access to basic explanation of their rights while in detention.

A co-author of the report, Ranjana Natarajan said:

At every level, federal, state and local jails and prisons have legal and binding rules they must abide. But in immigration detention, the government refuses to adopt binding rules. The result is utter disregard for basic humane conditions. Because we don't have rules, we don't have accountability.

By ignoring the constant civil and human rights violations in the immigration detention system, the administration is once again following Bush's immigration approach. Unfortunately, as I have argued before, this approach derails us from a real and humane immigration reform.

Cristina Jimenez: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 3:40 PM, Aug 04, 2009 in Immigration
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