Posted on June 06 2019
Updated on July 2, 2019 at 5:03PM to include THIRD DHS-OIG REPORT- See bottom of this entry for the update and link to Report
DHS-OIG Scathing Reports
In the past week the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) published two reports. Which detail their findings concerning conditions, safety and security of various Government facilities holding immigrants who illegally entered our Country.
I’ve extensively written about conditions facing both adults and unaccompanied minors, for example:
June 2018 entry includes GAO numbers of Unaccompanied Minors. Numerous HHS-ORR contracts, proposed 2019 budgets...
June 2018 entry further discussions of Contracts, Contract Mods, Southwest Key programs, various facilities that house the thousands of unaccompanied minors.
June 2018 entry, which included the UN-HCR, response from the Global Community and what the UN describes as “Crimes Against Humanity”
July 2018 entry, which discussed Court Order(s), Class Action Complaints, Sec Neilsen’s incompetence and lack of candor in her Congressional testimony.
November 2018 - HHS-OIG Report and how Scott Lloyd tracked unaccompanied teenage girl’s mensuration cycle and pregnancies. How HHS failed to conduct any background checks of employees who are in charge of the Tent City facility. Scott Lyyod is sick and shield never have access to unaccompanied minors. Period.
December 2018 - In this entry I actually dissected the following areas of inquiry; the Government Shutdown TPS, his stupid wall, Congress, March 2018 Omnibus Bill - Wall Prototypes
In fact this link will take you to the mere 54+ previous reports concerning Trump’s Radical and Onerous Immigration Policies, various lawsuits - many of which he’s lost where several judges cited Trump’s twitter feed and subsequently determined Trump’s Immigration Policies are deeply rooted in racial animus, TPS termination, Trump’s authoritarian tendencies as it relates to immigration. So it should not come as any surprised that I’d dive deeper into the two absolutely scathing DHS-OIG reports that gave been publicly release in the past week.
DHS-OIG Report 19-46
Overcrowding Among Single Adults at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center
To give you an enumeration of apprehension that result in custodial detention, see DHS-OIG table below - the numbers have exploded.
The DHS-OIG issued a Management Alert – DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding Among Single Adults at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center. When the OIG shared this information with DHS - the Acting DHS Secretary stated that the various areas of concern (all cited in previous reports) that DHS provided the DHS-OIG a target date of November 2022.
Because DHS’s corrective action is critical to the immediate health and safety needs of detainees, who cannot continue to be held in standing-room-only conditions for weeks until additional tents are constructed, we consider the recommendation open and unresolved. We will continue our spot inspections of the southern border facilities and may revisit El Paso sector sites to monitor overcrowding (emphasis added)
In my line of work Trump’s Tweet is what you would call “intent” and one could in fact argue “premeditated”
All people that are illegally coming into the United States now will be removed from our Country at a later date as we build up our removal forces and as the laws are changed. Please do not make yourselves too comfortable, you will be leaving soon!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
To better understand and visualize what overcrowding looks like at El Paso Immigrant processing center - this is what “standing room” looks like, this overcrowding is exactly what Stephen Miller and his puppet Donald Trump want. The insidious cruelty is in fact a hallmark of Donald Trump’s foreign Policy Doctrine. It’s disgusting and it’s infuriating.
“...PDT Border Patrol processing facility staff, the facility’s maximum capacity is 125 detainees. However, on May 7 and 8, 2019, Border Patrol’s custody logs indicated that there were approximately 750 and 900 detainees on site, respectively.” (emphasis added)
When overcrowding is protracted this amplifies communicative diseases and other airborne viruses. In short it quickly becomes a serious public health risk not only to the immigrants but to Americans who are assigned to aforementioned detention center. When a facility is this overcrowded then that also means the facility lacks actual rooms to quarantine/isolate immigrants who have an infectious diseases such as; chicken pox, scabies, and influenza.
The DHS-OIG observed the following sever overcrowding during their unannounced spot check of the El Paso Facility - the numbers are shocking:
a cell with a maximum capacity of 12, but held 76 detainees.
a cell with a maximum capacity of 8, but held 41 detainees.
a cell with a maximum capacity of 35 but held 155 detainees.
The DHS-OIG report goes in to detail of the unsanitary conditions, limited access to clean water, showers and toilets - DHS-OIG also stated that there is considerable fear among DHS employees that the detainees may become violent and that there are not enough DHS employees to subdue any potential detainee uprising. Therefore there’s been a documented uptick in CBP, ICE employees either retiring early, resigning or request to be transferred to other detainee facilities:
”CBP was struggling to maintain hygienic conditions in the holding cells. With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks...
CBP headquarters management has been aware of the situation at PDT for months and detailed staff to assist with custody management, DHS has not identified a process to alleviate issues with overcrowding at PDT.. (emphasis added)
And if you still think advocacy groups are only being hyperbolic - then read the red box of the May 29, 2019 Memorandum that went to Acting DHS Secretary
DHS-OIG Report 19-47
Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment
and Care at Four Detention Facilities
On June 5, 2019 DHS-OIG released Report 19-47 - which focused on the DHS-OIG unannounced spot checks as various ICE Detainee Centers. DHS-OIG observed immediate risks or egregious violations that on one such spot visit an ICE employees was fired on the spot.
DHS-OIG Unannounced to detention facilities May and November 2018:
Adelanto ICE Processing Center (California),🌶
LaSalle ICE Processing Center (Louisiana)🌶
Essex County Correctional Facility (New Jersey), and
Aurora ICE Processing Center (Colorado)🌶
🌶 The GEO Group has so many untoward scandals that I could write a blog entry everyday for the next decade and I still would not capture all of their scandals. Should an actual reporter want to fact check me, go into PACER - run a universal search: Geo Group - it returns some 800+ cases where The Geo Group is the Defendant. No really log on to PACER - use the universal page (it pulls from ALL Federal District Courts, Circuit Court of Appeals) and you’ll see the same data and you’ll find there’s a common thread in these Complaints - lack of wages, prisoner rights violation, unsafe and unclean facilities -
Menocal v. The GEO Group, Inc. Case No 1:14-cv-02887 this was a class action Complaint by GEO employees concerning wages. The 2016 deposition transcript is - in a word: fascinating.
Nwauzor v. The GEO Group, Case No: 17-cv-05769-RJB this case centered around lack of wage pay and GEO’s lack of payment to numerous vendors. On May 29, 2019 a Judge issued the following Order, which supplemented his oral Order
State of Washington v GEO Group Case No: 3:17-cv-05806-RJB - late
May 13, 2019 order denied GEO’s request to strike or defer the State’s motion for partial summary judgment on GEO’s affirmative defenses of laches, unclean hands and failure to join necessary parties
On May 23, 2019 a Federal Judge re AFFIRMED the Plaintiffs May 13, 2019 Summary Judgement - handing GEO Group a significant litigation loss.
The GEO Group Contracts during the Trump Administration has EXPLODED...I’ll do a follow up entry over the weekend. So put a pin in this now. Because the TCV (total contract value) is nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars.
In Adelanto, CA, and Essex County, NJ - ICE Detention Centers, DHS-OIG Investigators found: nooses in detainee cells (braided bedsheets turned in to nooses), overly restrictive segregation, horridly inadequate medical care, numerous unreported security incidents, and major food safety issues. The irony here is Congress via the March 2018 omnibus bill, appropriated $445million to address the concerns itemized in the recent reports.
Moreover of the four facilities DHS-OIG inspectors visited - they found all four
facilities had issues with expired food, minimum food safety handling protocols and improper handling and storing of raw and cooked food. The investigators noted these unsafe practices puts “detainees at risk for food-borne illnesses”. See pages 6 and 7 (marked pages 3 and 4), respectively of the DHS-OIG Report 19-47. I’ve taken the liberty of red lining the most egregious food safety concerns. Such as raw chicken blood leaking in the refrigerator and on to other food products. The spoliation and expiration data of food that was offered to detainees for consumption.
While you may not agree that Detainees have rights, the fact is they do. The inspectors found that there were numerous occasions where detainees rights were violated. That the use of strip searches was likely a violation of detainees rights because those strip searches did not have a documentary reason to conduct the searches. Investigators found ICE employees strip searched detainees putatively versus having prescribed justification. Moreover inspectors also noted Detainees were “restrained” without justification or cause. This also applied to ICE’s segregation of detainees and repeated conflation of Administrative Segregation versus Disciplinary Segregation. (See Pages 8 thru 10 - marked pages 5 thru 7)
Got mold? Based on the inspection, investigators from DHS-OIG found mold “facility cleanliness and sanitation shall be maintained at the highest level.” Furthermore Investigators also observed bathrooms in poor condition, specifically including mold and peeling paint on walls, floors, and showers, and unusable toilets, over all unhygienic and unusable conditions. Would you want to bathe or use the toilets in these conditions?
Investigators noted that at the Essex facility - mold was pervasive and as we know that repeated exposure to mold leads to serious health issues, specifically respiratory issues (See 2012 CDC Mold Report) and in young children it can devastating health implications (see April 2019 Mayo Clinic Resource/Data). The fact Investigators observed mold in vents is exceptionally problematic given that makes the mold airborne and increases the likelihood for it to be inhaled.
...mold permeated all walls in the bathroom area, including ceilings, vents, mirrors, and shower stalls. These environmental conditions present health risks as mold and mildew growth, for example, can lead to serious health issues for detainees, including allergic reactions and persistent illnesses.
Again Detainees have rights, they are not animals, they are human beings and at the minimum should be afforded basic hygienic items such as, but not limited to: soap, shampoo, lotion, properly fitting uniforms...nor should the detainees only way to obtain these basic items be monetized thus requiring detainees to purchase items from the Detention Center Commissary - which is strictly prohibited by federal law. But then again this is The GEO Group aka CivicCore doing what they are known for doing - treating humans in their custody as animals.
The lack of dignity, which should be afforded to these immigrants is unlawful and equally heartbreaking - and it’s great that ICE has acknowledged the egregious safety and health violations - that means nothing. Since 3 of the 4 facilities are run by The GEO Group aka CoreCivics.
Since our taxes dollars are going to The GEO Group. And while the DHS-OIG conducted a thorough and exhaustive investigation, I can’t help but wonder why no one is asking what the Terms and Conditions (Ts & Cs) of the nearly 58 Federal Contracts that the Trump Administration has awarded his “good friend” George.
For example in April of 2017 ICE awarded GEO Group a $110 million for a new facility to be built in Texas
“We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” said George C. Zoley, GEO’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
To that end, yes of course Congress has a constitutional role of oversight, so it should come as no surprise that House Democrats have repeatedly written to DHS and ICE and CBP and the White House, See a partial list of Congressional Letters - specifically concerning the horrid details in the two most recent DHS-OIG reports (both of which are embedded in this write up)
April 4, 2019 Letter from 20 House Democrats to the respective Homeland Security and Appropriations Chairs. Which reads in part:
“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to prevent a Member of Congress from entering within a 48 hour request, for the purpose of conducting oversight, any facility operated by or for the Department of Homeland Security used to detain or otherwise house aliens, or to make any temporary modification at any such facility that in any way alters what is observed by a visiting Member of Congress, compared to what would be observed in the absence of such modification.” Doing so would clarify Congress’ role in ensuring detention centers, operated by or for ICE, adhere to the standards ICE has developed.
December 7, 2018 Letter - following the death of a toddler, Mariee Juarez imploring the DHS-OIG to Conduct a Full Investigation in to her death.
In July, Rep. Castro wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Nielsen:
asking whether any children had died or been seriously harmed while in government care. Secretary Nielsen told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, during an in-person meeting days later, that none had died or been seriously harmed to her knowledge.
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen saying Mariee’s illness qualified as a serious injury and should have been reported to members of Congress, and to request that she direct the DHS OIG to open an investigation into this case.
Specifically, the members wanted to know if ICE could improve the level of care provided to all detainees. Secretary Nielsen failed to respond to this letter, and instead
ICE’s December 2018 Response
Furthermore the House Committee on Homeland Security - Chairman Thompson has repeatedly sounded the alarm and DHS has been all but ignored, equivocated and straight up defied Congress - who demanded answers:
June 2018, then ranking member Thompson (D-MS), sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to express his concern and request more information regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) recent transfer of 1,600 detainees to five federal prisons due to President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy.
December 2018 - Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the disturbing and tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez, who was detained at a privately contracted ICE facility earlier this year.
June 4, 2019 - after Reports of unaccompanied minors being left in vans, overnight now Chairman Thompson wrote this scathing letter to DHS & HHS where he expressed grave concerns both in policy and safety - Link to Letter
It is extremely concerning that nearly a year after the President’s failed zero-tolerance policy resulted in at least 5,000 family separations, stories such as this continue to emerge. With that in mind, I am writing to request you investigate:
-the Departments’ treatment of children during family reunification efforts in the summer of 2018, including the July 15, 2018 incident; and
-whether appropriate measures have been implemented to prevent similar incidents from happening as DHS, HHS, or their contractors transporting children in their custody. happening as DHS, HHS, or their contractors transporting children in their custody.
Before you fall for the Trump-Republican propaganda “there’s a crisis” at our southern border - you do understand this is a multi-prong. That Donald Trump and Stephen Miller know exactly what they are doing.
Stephen Miller’s proxy Donald Trump cut off aid to the Northern Triangle ✔️
Stephen Miller’s lapdog Donald Trump terminated TPS programs✔️
Stephen Miller’s mini racist Donald Trump “declared an emergency”✔️
Stephen Miller’s puppet Donald Trump shut the Govt down over the wall✔️
Stephen Miller’s racist wannabe racist progeny Trump declared America is full✔️
Remember the analogy I offered a few years ago - the pyromaniac (Donald Trump) adds so much fuel to the fire that said fire is now out of control and when Tyrant-Trump doesn’t get what he wants, he crosses his arms and starts shouting like a intemperate toddler. Trump does not understand or respect diplomacy much less trilateral relationship. Trump Mr “I alone can fix it” has in fact taken a sledgehammer to our societal norms of what real American values are. Trump’s rhetoric coupled with his invidious Immigration “doctrine” - technically its not Trump’s doctrine/policy it’s Stephen Miller and Trump is merely the conduit to execute Miller’s desire to: MAKE. AMERICA. WHITE. AGAIN.
Trump isn’t a racist.
Trump doesn’t make racist remarks
Seriously why don’t you just ask the Central Park Five if Trump has ever apologized for this full page ad. Spoiler Trump never has and he has in fact doubled down on this insane position that the Central Park Five should have been executed.
This link will take you to each of Trump’s 163 Tweets where he uses Twitter as a weapon to attack Mexico, Latinos and Brown People. It is not lost on me that Trump repeatedly uses his racist AF tendencies to shame and stoke hate against individuals who are fleeing extreme poverty, gangs, drugs and yes they are coming in to America illegally but Trump and his Administration’s own actions are in fact exasperating the issue.
Do you know who else used the terms “infestation” and breeding?
There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
Trump has always been a racist and a crazy conspiracy theorist
How crazy - 7.5% of all births in U.S. are to illegal immigrants, over 300,000 babies per year. This must stop. Unaffordable and not right!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2015
July 2, 2019 Update
As many of you might know I’m an original document source junkie. In the age of disinformation and growing media bias I tend to find the only reliable data is from various Government agencies. Of course we can have a far more substantive discussion about my previous assertion but for now if I see a DHS-OIG Report, in my mind that’s going to trump (sorry absolutely zero pun intended) any random Twitter Account.
Accordingly just a short while ago the DHS-OIG - it’s internal watchdog released their 3rd scathing report in so many weeks. It is brutal.
NEW! Management Alert - DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding and Prolonged Detention of Children and Adults in the Rio Grande Valley https://t.co/Q5HlvuSqrz— DHSOIG (@DHSOIG) July 2, 2019
The Report entitled:
DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding and
Prolonged Detention of Children and Adults in the Rio Grande Valley
The cover letter to the DHS-OIG Report OIG-19-51 it is clear that the issue is at critical mass and I do not believe for one second that the Administration is taking immediate and corrective action.
the purpose of which is to notify you of urgent issues that require immediate attention and action. Specifically, we encourage the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley
The numbers are staggering - that’s not me exaggerating on page 2 the number of family units skyrocketed to a 269% increase comparing the same timeframe for one year ago. With an astonishing 135,812 family units compared to one year ago 36,773.
DHS-OIG Inspectors conducted “spot visits” (these are typically unannounced visits) to five detention facilities and two ports of entry in the Rio Grande Sector. This report quantifies the growing concern but specifically addresses Unaccompanied Minors and Family Units.
Border Patrol was holding about 8,000 detainees in custody at the time of our visit, with 3,400 held longer than the 72 hours generally permitted under the TEDS standards.5 Of those 3,400 detainees, Border Patrol held 1,500 for more than 10 days.
This is not the way you treat human beings, this is the Trump Administration BREAKING THE LAW. The Flores Agreement is Law.
overcrowding we observed, Border Patrol’s custody data indicates that 826 (31 percent) of the 2,669 children at these facilities had been held longer than the 72 hours generally permitted under the TEDS standards and the Flores Agreement...
Let’s be clear here - the Trump Administration withheld financial aid to the Northern Triangle and then this creates the perfect storm of unprecedented numbers of actual refugees presenting themselves at out boarder. Yet the Trump Administration has put a choke hold on “credible fear” hearings and made seeking asylum next to impossible. Trump took an oath - the take care clause in every way possible he has violated his oath of office. His Immigration policies are onerous and incomprehensibly cruel. It’s almost like Trump enjoys the cruelty. At the end of the day, we the Tax Payers are funding these inhumane conditions. And yet Trump continues to use human beings like pawns in his sick & twisted game of “I’m President and you’re not”
..there were more than 50 UACs younger than 7 years old, and some of them had been in custody over two weeks while awaiting transfer. In addition to holding roughly 30 percent of minor detainees for longer than 72 hours, several Rio Grande Valley facilities struggled to meet other TEDS standards for UACs and families.
I do not understand how the Trump-Republicans are allowed to create the humanitarian crisis at our Southern Boarder and then try to spin it as Democrats want Open Boarders. That is intellectually dishonest yet the Congressional Democrats continue to lose this fight. The reality is (as pictured below) the Fire Marshall has a 40 person capacity for this room yet there are 88 grown men housed in it. Do you understand how inhumane this is?
Here’s the bottom line - Congress has a fiduciary and moral obligation to put forth actual legislation to address the broken immigration process. Toss the ball back to Trump. The Judiciary needs to hold the Trump Administration accountable. But this situation is unsustainable and with each passing day it is becoming worse. My greater fear is there will be rioting at the detention center and that means public servants will be put in greater danger. But throwing billions of dollars at this isn’t solving the issue - the issue being it’s been decades since Congress has passed any meaningful immigration legislation - Yes Mitch I’m looking at you,
That said maybe the way to resolve this is - if the Trump Administration won’t fix it then Congress needs to have Open Hearings with Executives from the GEO Group because they actually run and own many of the facilities the DHS-OIG Investigators/Inspectors are visiting but that would mean some really uncomfortable hearings.
While you're here, throw us a bone.
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