Report Card Gives U.S. Immigration Agency Barely Passing Grades

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency received dismal grades from immigrant rights groups in a report card released today (Wednesday, Oct. 6) grading the agency on its progress towards achieving its 2009 detention reforms, and on its compliance with human rights law.

Of the 20 grades given to the agency, only two were “A” grades while 12 of the grades were “Cs” and “Ds”.

JCUA is a member organization of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR), which put the report card together with help from the National Immigrant Justice Center, and the Detention Watch Network.

ICE received low marks for, among other things:

  • Failure to implement a nationwide program for alternatives to detention
  • Failure to insure the safety and wellbeing of female detainees at a Texas detention facility
  • Continued, consistent and widespread complaints of human rights violations in detention facilities.

[Download the PDF version of the full report.]

A Los Angeles Times article quotes Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as saying that more than 392,000 undocumented immigrants were deported from the United States in fiscal year 2010, the highest number in the country’s history.

More than 32,000 immigrants are detained on any given day in the U.S. and are held in detention facilities, jails and private for-profit prisons across the country, according to MCHR [see detention map on MCHR website].

While held in these facilities, immigrants are often completely cut off from their families, and are denied access to attorneys and proper medical care.  Since 2003, at least 110 immigrants have died while in ICE custody, according to the National Immigrant Justice Center.

JCUA supports the work of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and other immigrant rights groups and hopes that this report card will become yet another tool for change—for reform of our broken immigration system.

Learn more about JCUA’s human rights and immigration reform work.

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