Contact: B. Loewe, 773.791.4668, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 16, 2016
Stating that it was responding to issues raised by advocates, the DHS Office of the Inspector General announced it would be doing surprise inspections at immigrant detention centers and reporting its results to the Department, Congress, and the public.
Advocates say that announcing something as basic as unannounced inspections exposes the current lack of oversight in the system that detains an average of more than 30,000 people daily and cite the OIG’s own history of corruption as a cause for skepticism.
“DHS has shown time and again that it cannot police itself,” explains Marisa Franco, Director of the #Not1More campaign. “Detainees organizing hunger strikes and work stoppages inside have been alerting the nation to the five-alarm fire of abuse inside detention facilities and DHS is responding with a squirt gun.”
Citing the rampant abuse of transgender detainees, suspicious deaths at Eloy, and other facilities, medical neglect, retaliation against hunger strikers, and the continued insistence on detaining mothers and children despite being out of compliance with federal court orders, advocates say any report done well will outline a detention system that requires not just reform but a dismantling of the detention system that mirrors the efforts to reduce incarceration in the criminal justice system.