Civil Rights Violations: Border Trauma Under the Trump Administration

In response to reports of worsening conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has provided an updated investigation to accompany their 2015 report, “With Liberty and Justice for All: The State of Civil Rights at Immigration Detention Facilities.”

Trauma at the Border: The Human Cost of Inhumane Immigration Policies” examines current immigration policies, conditions of detention centers, witness statements, and the civil rights implications of the Trump Administration’s changes to federal policy in the past three years. A comparative look at the current treatment of immigrants finds troubling civil rights concerns, including physical and sexual violence against detainees, family separation (upwards of 2,700 families at the time of the report), failure to meet basic human needs, poor treatment of LGBTQ individuals, and barriers to due process.

After analyzing testimony from witnesses, migrants, and experts, the Commission concludes that the Administration has likely violated several constitutional rights in addition to basic standards of physical and mental care for detainees, not to mention the trauma of forced separation, and prison-like living conditions.

Men, women, and children sitting and standing against a fence in the sunshine with two birds in the foregroundFor more information, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Border Security and Immigration. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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