Pains and Profits of Immigrant Imprisonment: Migrant Testimonies from ICE Detention Centers in the El Paso ICE Field Office   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "This report examines the experiences and concerns of 33 migrants incarcerated by ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] during the first months of the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic: March 13-June 19, 2020. [...] [C]omplaints [...] fell into five key themes of concern: 1) Daily micro-aggressions and humiliating treatment; [...] 2) Denial of reasonable and equitable access to telephone services and legal representation; [...] 3) Poor quality food, hunger and sickness; [...] 4) Cruel and inhumane sanitary conditions; [...] [and] 5) Insufficient protections from COVID-19[.] [...] Each of the five areas of concern expressed by migrants were evaluated in light of ICE's Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) and their Pandemic Response Requirements. According to these guiding documents, none of the five frequently expressed areas of concern should have existed because each represents a clear violation of ICE detention policy and procedure. We conclude that ICE detention standards are ineffective, that the use of private detention contractors incentivizes cost cutting, and that these cost cutting efforts endanger detained persons. Prior attempts to reform ICE detention and improve conditions have failed. The poor conditions and abuses detailed here are chronic, and are made more acute by the pandemic. There is no way to make immigration detention humane, and thus the detention system should be abolished."

Advocate Visitors with Immigrants in Detention (AVID); New Mexico State University, National Science Foundation
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New Mexico State University Department of Government: https://deptofgov.nmsu.edu/
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