08.06.09

Comment On The Immigration And Customs Enforcement Reforms To Detention System

“The Obama administration is taking a step forward to improve what have been shameful – and all too often fatal – conditions of custody in immigration detention.  Today’s announcement shows a recognition of the scope of the problem and the need for systemic reform.  That said, I would like to see ICE commit not just to stronger internal oversight, but also to independent monitoring of its detention facilities.  The new facilities that ICE proposes to build must be located in areas where detainees can access legal counsel and pro bono representation.  I appreciate that ICE is looking into broader use of alternatives to detention.  With so many asylum seekers, families, and children in the system, many of whom have no criminal background and are seeking protection at our shores, I urge the agency to expand the use of secure, humane, and cost-effective community-based programs.”

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