Press Releases

REP. ROYBAL-ALLARD INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS IMMIGRATION DETENTION ABUSES

Key part of Congresswoman’s Immigration Fairness Agenda

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Washington, D.C., February 15, 2013 | Elizabeth Murphy ((202) 225-1766) | comments

This week, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced H.R.­­­ 639, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act. This legislation will help to ensure that immigrant detainees receive decent, humane treatment while in federal custody.  The bill responds to a series of egregious abuses—sexual assaults, random beatings, preventable deaths and management cover-ups— that has for years made our immigration prisons a national embarrassment.  H.R. 639 is part of the Congresswoman’s Immigration Fairness Agenda, a package of measures intended to safeguard the rights and dignity of individuals and families impacted by our broken immigration system.   

 “As Congress works to overhaul our immigration laws and policies, it would be a serious mistake to overlook America’s dysfunctional detention centers,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard.  “While the Obama administration has taken steps to improve oversight of these facilities, serious abuses sadly continue.  That’s why I joined more than two dozen of my colleagues in requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of sexual assaults in detention and remain convinced that Congress should impose legally enforceable standards on our immigration prisons.  H.R. 639 will ensure that immigrants in federal custody are treated with basic human dignity and have access to adequate legal representation and necessary medical care.  To do any less is inconsistent with both our values and our heritage as a nation of immigrants.”      

 According to the Boston Globe, more than 10,000 immigrants without criminal records are held by our immigration authorities every day in a network of facilities the New York Times has called a “broken, dangerous system.”     

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