Lawmakers Criticize Conditions at Immigrant Detention Centers

Last week, Congressional Democrats vocalized their disdain for policies initiated by the Trump administration after representatives visited and inspected immigrant detention centers throughout the country.

Rep. Elijah Cummings scheduled a hearing on the separation and treatment of immigrant children for July 12th.  Cummings invited Secretary Kevin McAleenan from the Department of Homeland Security and acting Commissioner Mark Morgan from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to appear.

Speaking about conditions at detention centers, Cummings said:

“The Trump Administration's actions at the southern border are grotesque and dehumanizing. There seems to be open contempt for the rule of law and for basic human decency. The Committee needs to hear directly from the heads of these agencies as soon as possible in light of the almost daily reports of abuse and defiance. I encourage Acting Secretary McAleenan and Acting Commissioner Morgan to appear voluntarily in order to answer these critical questions.”

The hearing will also take a look at a secret Facebook group that allegedly consists of current and former border patrol agents who posted "racist, sexist, and xenophobic" material disparaging members of Congress and immigrants. The name of the group is "I'm 10-15", which is the Border Patrol's code for "aliens in custody."

In a statement, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal wrote:

“We are appalled by the vile and inexcusable conduct displayed in this Facebook group. Clearly, there is a pervasive culture within CBP of dehumanizing and racist behavior towards immigrants in custody, by some CBP agents.

This disturbing report underscores our concerns with the decision to provide additional funding for CBP absent appropriate and necessary safeguards to ensure detained immigrants are treated with dignity. We support a full investigation into this despicable conduct and we urge CBP to take swift disciplinary action against the perpetrators, up to and including termination.”

We are disheartened by the reports from members of Congress who have visited these facilities, but we are glad to see that more attention is being brought to the terrible conditions detainees are forced to live in. If you know someone who has been detained for illegally entering the United States, you should consult with our attorneys to get help defending their rights.

Call us today at (602) 353-7795 to speak with one of our seasoned lawyers.

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