Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sharply criticized House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith's efforts to undermine the Administration's good-faith reforms of the immigration detention system. At a hearing convened to discuss Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) new Performance Based National Detention Standards, Smith ignored a litany of documented abuses and asserted that under President Obama, "detention looks more like recess."
"A series of egregious abuses--sexual assaults, random beatings, preventable deaths and management cover-ups--has for years made our detention system a national embarrassment," said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. "Unfortunately, it's obvious from the title of this panel, "Holidays on ICE," that the Majority is more interested in scoring cheap political points than in actually improving detention policy. ICE's new detention standards represent a significant step towards protecting the rights and basic human dignity of every immigrant in our custody."
Rep. Roybal-Allard is the author of HR 933, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act, a bill that would strengthen and codify the rules governing immigrant detention, helping to ensure that immigrants in federal custody are afforded basic, humane treatment.