Abuses

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

Recent Features

All Abuses Content

September 19, 2017
Mexican migrants suffer a host of violations, abuses, and ill treatment while in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.
August 2, 2017
This report raises more concerns about misconduct throughout Border Patrol sectors and shows Customs and Border Patrol has made little progress in its efforts to improve accountability.
April 24, 2017

The last time the Border Patrol received a large infusion of money to hire thousands of new agents, cases of corruption and misconduct spiked in the agency. New hires were not sufficiently vetted...

December 21, 2016
Too often, some or all of a detainee’s belongings are lost, destroyed, or stolen by the immigration-enforcement agents entrusted with their care.
August 18, 2016
This report reveals that individuals are frequently held for days and sometimes even months in holding cells in Border Patrol sectors along the U.S.’ southwest border.
December 17, 2015
These accounts reveal the markedly dehumanizing conditions to which these women were subjected while in Border Patrol custody.
June 10, 2015

Each year, the Border Patrol, a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), holds hundreds of thousands of people in detention facilities near the southern border that are...

May 4, 2014
Of the 809 complaints of alleged abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012, 97 percent resulted in “No Action Taken.” On average, CBP took 122 days to arrive at...
December 10, 2013
This two-part series highlights the findings of the Migrant Border Crossing Study—a binational, multi-institution study of 1,110 randomly selected, recently repatriated migrants surveyed in six...
This lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release records relating to CBP’s complaint process and actions taken in response to complaints made to CBP concerning its agents and officers since January 1, 2012.
The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by immigration enforcement regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals in custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by the governmental agencies to address the processing and treatment of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically, the separation of adult family members from minor children and the criminal prosecution of adult family members.
September 26, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and others...

March 27, 2017
This amicus brief arguing that any Fourth Amendment violation by state and local law enforcement officers — not just egregious Fourth Amendments violations — should require the suppression of evidence in immigration court proceedings, which is the same standard that applies in the criminal justice arena.
The class-action lawsuit complaint alleges that Tucson Sector Border Patrol holds men, women, and children in freezing, overcrowded, and filthy cells for days at a time in violation of the U.S. Constitution and CBP’s own policies.
January 21, 2014
The American Immigration Council and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) are seeking to preserve federal court review of damages actions brought by noncitizens for abuse of authority by immigration agents.
October 4, 2013
The Council, along with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), is seeking to preserve federal court review of damages actions brought by noncitizens for abuse of authority by immigration agents. In actions brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the government routinely moves to dismiss these cases on a variety of jurisdictional grounds, including by arguing that INA § 242(g) bars the court’s review of damages claims in any case involving removal procedures, and that a remedy under Bivens is not available in immigration-related actions. In essence, the government is attempting to deprive those who have been harmed by immigration agents of any remedy in federal court.

Advocates in states along the northern border of the United States have reported that Border Patrol agents frequently “assist” other law enforcement agencies by serving...

July 27, 2018

The court-imposed deadline of July 26 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reunite families separated at the southern border has passed. So far, over 1800 children have been released...

July 19, 2018

Among the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without...

July 10, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) consistently fails to conduct adequate inspections of its detention facilities or to follow up on recommended corrections at facilities that are...

June 19, 2018

Every day under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is choosing to separate children from their parents. Despite claims by the...

June 18, 2018

The outcry against family separation has only just begun. The Trump administration’s cruel policy of separating migrant children from their parents when they cross the U.S.-Mexico border is...

June 14, 2018

The end of Ramadan 2018 is here, which is the holy month of fasting, contemplation, and prayer for Muslims worldwide. Yet, despite the First Amendment’s protection of the right to practice one’s...

June 4, 2018

The government has a longstanding history of failing to provide adequate medical and mental health care to immigrants detained in the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, CO. This...

May 25, 2018

Following implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), where migrants who enter without inspection are referred for...

May 15, 2018

Migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization frequently make a life-threatening journey, crossing the desert often with limited supplies of food and water. The Border...

April 17, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the Border Patrol in particular—has a reputation for repeatedly and systematically violating the rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. Border...

May 3, 2018
Through this request, the organizations seek more information regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals held in Immigration and Custom Enforcement custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
September 26, 2017
The issues addressed in the complaint are of immediate concern given the Trump administration’s executive orders directing ICE to dramatically expand immigration enforcement actions and increase the number of individuals subject to immigration detention.
August 18, 2016
Today, groups made public damning evidence, including expert testimony and video stills illustrating the deplorable and unconstitutional conditions detained individuals are subjected to in Border Patrol custody in the agency’s Tucson Sector.
June 27, 2016
A federal district court unsealed some of the photographs central to ongoing litigation challenging deplorable and unconstitutional conditions in Border Patrol detention facilities in the agency’s Tucson Sector. The court also allowed the Arizona Republic newspaper to intervene in the case to argue for the release of the documents.
March 13, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Over the past week, an alliance of immigration groups, private attorneys and a law school clinic joined forces in filing complaints targeting abuses by U.S.

March 26, 2014

An alliance of immigration advocacy groups announces the launch of HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and admini

March 28, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on new immigration detention standards recently issued by Immigration a

December 15, 2011

Washington D.C. - After a three-year investigation into the abusive practices of Sherriff Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO), t

This lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release records relating to CBP’s complaint process and actions taken in response to complaints made to CBP concerning its agents and officers since January 1, 2012.
July 27, 2018

The court-imposed deadline of July 26 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reunite families separated at the southern border has passed. So far, over 1800 children have been released...

July 19, 2018

Among the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without...

July 10, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) consistently fails to conduct adequate inspections of its detention facilities or to follow up on recommended corrections at facilities that are...

June 19, 2018

Every day under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is choosing to separate children from their parents. Despite claims by the...

June 18, 2018

The outcry against family separation has only just begun. The Trump administration’s cruel policy of separating migrant children from their parents when they cross the U.S.-Mexico border is...

June 14, 2018

The end of Ramadan 2018 is here, which is the holy month of fasting, contemplation, and prayer for Muslims worldwide. Yet, despite the First Amendment’s protection of the right to practice one’s...

June 4, 2018

The government has a longstanding history of failing to provide adequate medical and mental health care to immigrants detained in the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, CO. This...

May 25, 2018

Following implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), where migrants who enter without inspection are referred for...

May 15, 2018

Migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization frequently make a life-threatening journey, crossing the desert often with limited supplies of food and water. The Border...

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