National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1818, Chicago, IL 60604
Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Immigration Detention System
The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained more than 420,000 people last year, more than double how many people were in its custody four years ago. The growth is largely due to increased collaboration between federal immigration agents and state and local law enforcement officials, including programs such as Secure Communities. People in immigration detention face numerous obstacles to defending their due process and human rights, including inadequate access to lawyers and medical care.
Through its policy and advocacy work, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center works to significantly reduce the use of detention and to put an end to arbitrary detention of immigrants in the United States. NIJC also advocates for reforms that improve the conditions for those who are detained. As a co-chair of the Department of Homeland Security-Non-Governmental Organization Enforcement Working Group, NIJC educates members of Congress on the need for detention reform and viable alternatives. NIJC’s expert research and reports inform policy makers and the public on failures of justice in the detention system and recommends effective solutions.
NIJC Detention Reform Priorities:
Immigrants in detention facilities around the United States often are subjected to punitive and long-term solitary confinement and denied meaningful avenues of appeal, according to an investigation by Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). The two human rights groups surveyed conditions in more than a dozen detention centers and county jails that contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Invisible in Isolation: The Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention is the first comprehensive examination of the effects of solitary confinement on immigration detainees.