Serrano, Espaillat, Bonamici, Beyer, Lee Demand IG Investigation Into ICE/CBP Policies and Actions at Sensitive Locations
Washington, DC –Today, Representatives José E. Serrano (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA) called for an Department of Homeland Security Inspector General investigation into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies with regard to repeated violations of those agencies’ sensitive locations policies, and a lack of oversight and safeguards to prevent abuse. The Members believe that only an independent investigation can bring about needed change.
“We believe that there is a significant lack of oversight and accountability within these agencies in carrying out enforcement actions at sensitive locations,” wrote the Members. “Without significant changes, enforcement actions at sensitive locations will continue to undermine the health and safety of immigrants and their families- regardless of their underlying immigration status.”
In October, 84 Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for further information about repeated violations of the sensitive locations policies by ICE and CBP, and asking for further information about alleged abuses of these policies and the mechanisms currently in place to ensure accountability. The Department replied just prior to Christmas (see attached document), and revealed significant gaps in oversight of these guidelines. Neither ICE nor CBP keep statistics on their enforcement actions at sensitive locations, and there is not a clear system for complaints and discipline of employees who violate these memoranda. Additionally, CBP agents, who have been involved in several controversial incidents involving sensitive locations, do not receive any training on their agency’s sensitive locations policy.
The full text of the letter is below: