A report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General outlined "egregious" failures at facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which DHS oversees. At one facility, the kitchen manager was fired immediately over what the inspectors found.
What does the report say?
The 28-page report details a number of issues plaguing four ICE detention facilities in California, Colorado, Louisiana, and New Jersey. The Office of Inspector General selected these four after "concerns raised by immigrant rights groups and complaints ... about conditions for detainees held in ICE custody."
The report found that all the facilities had "issues with expired food," three violated ICE policies on how to treat prisoners who need to be segregated from the general population, two never let detainees have recreation time outside (as per DHS policy), and one did not even have enough hygiene and clothing items to "ensure that [detainees] could properly care for themselves."
At the facility in Essex County, New Jersey, which got the worst review out of the four, inspectors found "open packages of raw chicken" leaking blood "all over refrigeration units," spoiled lunch meat, and moldy bread. The situation in the kitchen there was so bad that the kitchen manager was fired during the inspection.
Inspectors also found spoiled and expired food at the facility in Adelanto, California, and expired food at the LaSalle, Louisiana facility.
In addition to the abysmal kitchen conditions, the Essex County facility also had mold throughout the bathrooms. Detainees were also strip searched at this location without "reasonable suspicion to do so," which went against ICE policy.
While ICE requires its facilities to provide detainees with a basic uniform and toiletries, inspectors found that the Essex County facility only had two sizes and had not been giving detainees shampoo. Staff there also told the inspector that detainees had to purchase shampoo on their own "which is in direct violation of the ICE standards."
The inspector general noted in his report that illegal immigrants in ICE facilities "are held in civil, not criminal custody, which is not supposed to be punitive."