Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conyers Calls for Investigation of Constitutional and Civil Rights Abuses by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents From Detroit Field Office

Contact: Nicole Triplett, 202-226-5543                                                                                  
Date: April 15, 2011                   
Conyers Calls for Investigation of Constitutional and Civil Rights Abuses by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents From Detroit Field Office

(Washington)—Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement regarding allegations that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers working out of the Detroit Field Office are regularly violating constitutional and civil rights guarantees and ignoring ICE’s own policies and priorities.

“The allegations of abuse and legal violations raised by the Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform Michigan and media reports should be of concern to all Americans,” said Conyers.  “According to these reports, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have engaged in a pattern of warrantless searches, racial profiling, and unlawful detentions of U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.”

“ICE agents also have allegedly performed multiple immigration enforcement actions at Detroit-area schools, terrifying students, teachers, and parents.  If true, such actions would be in violation of long-standing and well-developed agency policy generally prohibiting enforcement actions at such sensitive community locations.  ICE has admitted that some of its recent actions appear to have been ‘inconsistent with policy and our standards and priorities’ and has called for a review.”

“I am encouraged that ICE will be conducting a review into these incidents and that ICE’s Director, John Morton, will be meeting with my staff and members of the community later today.  However, we must not minimize the seriousness of these allegations.  An alleged pattern of abuse and misconduct such as this requires an independent investigation.  Therefore, I will be asking that an independent entity such as the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General investigate these allegations.  I will also ask that the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility review the actions of individual officers and supervisory personnel to identify any misconduct and take all appropriate actions.  These thorough investigations must look not only into individual instances of misconduct, but also into the alleged pattern of abuses, so that we may uncover any underlying problems at the ICE Detroit Field Office that are at the root of the problem.  Real consequences must follow any findings of misconduct.”

“Parents should not be afraid to take their children to school, people should not be afraid that ICE will enter their homes without a warrant, and U.S. citizens should not be afraid that they will be subjected to racial profiling and unlawfully detained.”

Attached is the letter Congressman Conyers wrote to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Assistant Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility at the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement Office, requesting an investigation of ICE’s Detroit Field Office.

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