The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued a statement bringing attention to a request made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials asking that they be allowed to destroy detention operation documents.
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ICE officials reached out to people at the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) for approval to destroy documents detailing sexual assaults, placing detainees in solitary confinement and deaths while in custody.
According to the ACLU, ICE wants the ability to destroy documents “ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records, to three years for reports about solitary confinement.” Victoria Lopez, the Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU National Prison Project, says this has serious consequences, especially in a time when President Trump wants to increase the number people detained.
Lopez writes that the documents they want to destroy are necessary for public understanding and overall transparency into an agency that is “notorious for inhumane and unconstitutional conditions” that impact hundreds of thousands of people. Some of the most common complaints made against ICE is inadequate medical care and poor investigations into allegations of sexual harassment.
There have been 10 detained immigrant deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this fiscal year, according to a statement by ICE. The statement specifies that 44-year-old Carlos Mejia-Bonilla, the tenth person in their custody to die, passed away of complications “due to gastrointestinal bleeding.” Mejia-Bonilla was an inmate at the Hudson County jail.
Read more from ACLU here.