US Immigration Detention Report

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report today around the US immigration detention system. The report makes “recommendations so that immigration practices in [in the US] conform to international human rights standards.”

If you feel like reading the 164 page document, we will be doing so over the coming days.

But for now here are some highlights from the introduction:

  • The United States has an obligation to ensure the human rights of all immigrants, documented and undocumented alike; this includes the rights to personal liberty, to humane treatment, to the minimum guarantees of due process, to equality and nondiscrimination and to protection of private and family life.
  • One of the IACHR’s main concerns is the increasing use of detention based on a presumption of its necessity, when in fact detention should be the exception.
  • The Inter-American Commission is convinced that in many if not the majority of cases, detention is a disproportionate measure and the alternatives to detention programs would be a more balanced means of serving the State’s legitimate interest in ensuring compliance with immigration laws.
  • For those cases in which detention is strictly necessary, the IACHR is troubled by the lack of a genuinely civil detention system, where the general conditions are commensurate with human dignity and humane treatment, and featuring those special conditions called for in cases of non-punitive detention.
  • The management and personal care of immigration detainees is frequently outsourced to private contractors, yet insufficient information is available concerning the mechanisms in place to supervise the private contractors.

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