March 28, 2019

PUBLIC COMMENT ON IMMIGRATION DETENTION FACILITIES: A few years ago, the Commission on Civil Rights issued a report whose purpose was to expose (in the words of the then-Chairman) “egregious human rights and constitutional violations” that he believed were occurring in detention facilities.  Curiously, the draft of the report was mostly finished by the time the Commissioners got around to actually visiting any of those facilities. To the surprise of my colleagues, the facilities we saw were pretty nice (especially the privately run facility for women and their minor children). Since the report barely mentioned what we really saw, I wrote a detailed dissent that (in contrast to the rest of the report) I believe will be useful to anyone who wants an accurate assessment of what those immigration detention facilities are like.

The Commission now wants to reexamine the issue.  On Friday, April 12, 2019 from 10:00 to 12:30 a.m., the Commission is hosting a public comment session. According to the Commission’s announcement, it seeks comment “on the condition of immigration detention centers and status of treatment of immigrants, including children.” It further states, “The Commission seeks to hear from members of the public, including policy advocates, legal experts, affected persons, and other individuals who wish to speak on the issue.” Here is the link to the announcement.

Note that the Commission also welcomes submission of written material. The email and snail mail addresses for the submission of written material are available at the link above. The deadline for submission is May 13, 2019. If you believe you have something useful to say, especially if you have some first-hand knowledge, I hope you’ll consider submitting something. If you know someone who might want to comment (again, especially if that someone might have first-hand knowledge), please pass this information on to him or her.

I know there is lots of expertise and experience out there.  If this is an area you know something about (or you know someone who does), don’t let that knowledge go to waste.

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