Monitoring & Investigations

CIVIC’s network of affiliated visitation programs provides the only consistent form of non-governmental, independent oversight of the U.S. immigration detention system. The current model of immigration detention oversight by the government does not effectively address or prevent human and civil rights abuses. Only ICE and its umbrella agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), conduct audits of immigration detention facilities. As there is no independent oversight, there are untold and unrecorded abuses.
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 4.05.11 PMImmigrants who have been abused by detention guards are made invisible by the threat of retaliation. In addition, there are no statutes or rules that govern immigration detention conditions. ICE has established Performance-Based National Detention Standards for ICE and ICE-contracted facilities. As these standards are neither statutory nor incorporated into regulation, they are not legally enforceable and lack disciplinary and financial consequences for facilities that fail to comply.
CIVIC documents, categorizes, and verifies to the extent possible human and civil rights abuses in immigration detention facilities across the country on a daily basis. We are in direct contact with people in immigration detention through visits, tours, and our national hotline. We use the data and stories we gather to engage in advocacy to address rights violations. We provide this information to Congress, the media, and allied organizations when appropriate. Check out a few of our recent public investigations:
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