The American Civil Liberties Union reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, has detained and deported a record number of undocumented immigrants in recent years.
While the government does have the right to deport people who are not in the United States legally, the ACLU has concerns about the tactics agents are using to forcibly remove immigrants from the United States.
What kind of civil rights abuses is the ACLU investigating?
The ACLU calls the government’s tactics a “rubber-stamp system” that doesn’t give detainees their right to a fair court hearing, and also doesn’t take individual circumstances into consideration. These methods threaten civil rights in the following ways:
- They potentially violate the right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.
- The potentially violate due process as a constitutional right.
- They violate protection from discrimination based on race, ethnicity or country of origin.
Not only do these practices potentially violate civil rights, they rip apart families that are trying to better themselves and have a negative impact on the way the community interacts with law enforcement.
There have been several instances of abuse, according to the ACLU, including racial profiling and excessive force due to the “militarization” of ICE agents.
How have civil rights abuses in immigration enforcement affected immigrants?
A recent report from Amnesty International examined the civil rights violations at the U.S.-Mexican border and inside the United States. Not only are there potential civil rights violations of U.S. law, there are also potential violations of international human rights laws.
The report notes the following disturbing discoveries:
- Hundreds of people die every year trying to get into the United States because they’re using dangerous routes as a way to avoid abusive agents at the border.
- Federal immigration agents have been working more and more with state and local law enforcement agencies to detain people suspected of being here illegally, but because there is less oversight at the state and local level, it often leads to racial profiling.
- Immigrants have been less and less able to find essential human services, including education and health care.
- State and local laws have been increasingly targeting immigrant populations, which leaves their communities at risk of discrimination and less likely to ask for help when they need it.
- When immigrants are victims of serious crimes — such as armed robbery, human trafficking or domestic violence — they’re much less likely to contact law enforcement out of fear they will be detained and ultimately deported.
Immigration enforcement has become an increasingly polarizing and complicated topic. If you or someone you love is at the center of a problem involving immigration, contact Jacqui Ford’s office today.