ICE inspections of detention centers don’t improve facility conditions

ICE detention centers are annually inspected either by ICE or private firms they contract. Yet DHS Office of Inspector General recently concluded that ICE inspections were ineffective. There is no independent monitoring of ICE facilities and annual inspections are announced beforehand.

Since ICE was established, advocacy groups have argued that ICE inspections of its immigration detention centers are ineffective.1 In response to public pressure, ICE has made public efforts at reform including more than three versions of their detention standards (NDS 2000, PBNDS 2008, and PBNDS 2011) and a list of 31 detention reform accomplishments which end in 2016. Yet, as recent as 2018, DHS-OIG still acknowledges that ICE inspections are ineffective.2 Thus, it is clear that ICE’s efforts at reforming their own detention program are inadequate and announced ICE inspections of its own facilities objectively do not lead to improved detention conditions. A major conclusion of the July 16, 2018 meeting of the New Mexico Courts and Criminal Justice committee was that, until facilities in the state are closed, immediate independent oversight of them is critical. HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act seeks to halt the expansion of ICE detention in the state and implement immediate independent inspection of existing facilities.

Please sign on in support of HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act.

  1. NIJC, “Lives in Peril: How Ineffective Inspections Make ICE Complicit in Immigration Detention Abuse,” The Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project (Washington D. C.: National Immigrant Justice Center, October 2015),
  2. DHS OIG, “ICE’s Inspections and Monitoring of Detention Facilities Do Not Lead to Sustained Compliance or Systemic Improvements” (Washington D. C.: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), 2018),