Human Rights Watch: Immigrant Detention System Denies Basic Rights
After intense criticism for mistreatment of detainees and lack of basic medical care, the Obama administration announced in August a plan to overhaul the country's broken immigrant detention system. The administration's plan aimed to transform the system into a "truly civil detention system." A recent report by Human Rights Watch, however, shows a great disconnect between the plan outlined by the administration and the ongoing problems with the system.
The report, Locked Up Far Away: The Transfer of Immigrant to Remote Detention Centers in the U.S, reveals that a growing number of unauthorized and authorized immigrants, about 442,000 a year, are held unnecessarily and transferred several times to jails in remote parts of the country. The random and unexpected transfers end up denying the detainees' right to access legal counsel and defend themselves during deportation proceedings.
Alison Parker, Deputy U.S director for Human Rights Watch, says:
ICE is increasingly subjecting detainees to a chaotic game of musical chairs. And it's a game with dire consequences since it may keep them from finding an attorney or presenting evidence in their defense.
A growing number of immigrants continue to enter in a dysfunctional detention system due to our flawed immigration laws. Enforcing flawed immigration laws does not solve the problem. Immigration reform is needed for better and practical enforcement.