Today, Representative Roybal-Allard welcomed the announcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that it intends to implement stronger standards to govern immigrant detention. The new standards, known as Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011 (PBNDS 2011), are part of an ongoing effort at ICE to improve conditions at U.S. detention centers, including offering better access to medical and mental health services, legal services, and visitation, as well as providing an improved process for reporting and responding to complaints and communicating with detainees with limited English proficiency.
"This is an important step toward protecting the safety and wellbeing of detained immigrants in the United States. While I am hopeful that the new standards will make a difference, more needs to be done to end the pattern of abuse that continues across this sprawling network of facilities. We still need to enact legally enforceable regulations if we are to guarantee the decent, humane treatment of the immigrants in our custody." said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
On March 3, 2011, Representative Roybal-Allard introduced the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act. This legislation would help guarantee all immigration detainees receive basic minimum protections, including access to medical care, phones, and legal representation by establishing legally enforceable immigration detention standards. The bill would provide special protection for children and other particularly vulnerable detainees while expanding the use of cost-saving alternatives to detention.