The Biden administration announced a new policy which would prevent ICE from detaining or arresting people who are pregnant or nursing, or who had a baby within the previous year. Though immigration advocates have applauded the policy change, some worry about the longevity of this decision as it was made through an executive order and could be easily reversed by future administrations. Under the Trump administration, the number of pregnant immigrants in detention had increased dramatically, after an Obama-era policy, which called for their detainment only under extreme circumstances, had been overwritten. This new policy also does not apply to pregnant, nursing, or postpartum immigrants being held in CBP custody.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General released a report which documented cases of ICE agents expelling separated parents without their children, despite knowing that those parents wanted their children with them. The report also notes that it was unclear whether or not ICE gave some parents the option to reunify with their children before being expelled from the U.S. These cases occurred under the Trump administration’s family separation program. Between July 2017 and July 2018, as many as 348 parents were expelled from the U.S. without their children, with no documentation of whether they had agreed to be separated.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas told ICE employees that border wall construction may restart to plug gaps in the current barrier.
ICE officials told immigration activists that they will be ending long-term detention at two Texas facilities, Dilley and Karnes City. Migrants will be held just long enough to administer Covid tests and arrange transportation but will no longer be held to wait for asylum screenings or court dates.
The first few weeks of the Biden administration have seen an uptick in ICE’s deportations of Haitian migrants, with dozens of asylum seekers being dropped off in Mexico without processing or credible fear interviews. Others, including children and infants, are being sent back to Haiti, which is experiencing mounting political violence due to U.S-backed president Jovenel Moïse attempting to extend his term.
A policy-by-policy overview of what it would take for the Biden administration to undo the Trump administration’s hardline border and migration policies.
ICE deported back to Guatemala hundreds of people who tested positive for COVID-19.
A 14-month investigation by House committee staff finds poor conditions and urgent health risks for migrants in ICE’s network of privatized detention centers. (Link at oversight.house.gov)
- The Committee on Homeland Security holds a hearing on “Children in CBP Custody: Examining Deaths, Medical Care Procedures, and Improper Spending.”
A year-long study based on site visits to eight ICE detention centers finds deficient medical care, abuse of solitary confinement, challenges accessing legal services, and unsanitary conditions. (Link at homeland.house.gov)
A whistleblower complaint about health risks—possibly including non-consensual surgeries on women—and unsafe work practices at the Irwin County ICE detention facility in Georgia.
ICE repeatedly rebuffed New Mexico state health officials’ offers to help control a worsening outbreak of COVID-19 at its Otero County Processing Center.
Details ICE’s practice of holding migrant families and children under contractors’ custody in border-town hotels before expelling them under measures put in place due to COVID-19.
An overview of key measures in the House of Representatives’ version of the 2021 DHS appropriation, including cutting border wall spending, defunding “Remain in Mexico,” reducing ICE detention, and others.
Caption: “ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removes aliens from the U.S. who are subject to a final order of removal or have been granted voluntary departure.”
“Reveals how unsafe conditions and scattershot testing helped turn ICE into a domestic and global spreader of the virus—and how pressure from the Trump administration led countries to take in sick deportees.”
ICE’s privately run detention center at Eloy, Arizona has seen nearly half of its employees test positive for COVID-19.
“This report will quantify, in stark terms, the likely transmission of COVID through ICE Air flights shuffling detainees between detention centers.”
A report on ICE’s new practice, during the COVID-19 pandemic, of giving migrants in family detention the choice of either separating from their children or staying together in indefinite detention.