Probe to be launched into alleged civil rights abuses in implementing Trump's immigration orders

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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WASHINGTON (CMC) — The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to conduct a probe in response to Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke’s concerns about alleged civil rights abuses in implementing United States President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, has expressed outrage over Trump’s executive orders, saying that they wantonly discriminate against Muslims, and Caribbean and other immigrants.

Clarke had also written to DHS Inspector General John Roth, calling for a probe into potential abuse of civil and constitutional rights of immigrants detained by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents under implementation of Executive Order (EO) “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

“Our office has initiated an investigation into the implementation of the EO and has asked Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) to stay their investigation until DHS OIG [Office of Inspector General] completes its work, so as not to inadvertently duplicate, interfere with or compromise the OIG’s investigation,” said Ross.

“As a result, CRCL will begin its investigation into the civil rights and civil liberties issues raised once the OIG investigation concludes,” he said. “In addition to reviewing its implementation, we will review DHS’ adherence to court orders and allegations of individual misconduct on the part of DHS personnel, including CBP agents. We will also consider adding other issues that arise during the course of the review.

“We are adding you as a co-requester to this investigation and will notify your office about the timing of the final report,” Roth told Clarke in his letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Several immigrant advocacy groups have accused DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents of physically and, even sexually, abusing immigrants.

In recent years, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said ICE has detained and deported “record numbers of people from the United States.”

“Many of ICE’s removal tactics take away even the right to a fair hearing in court, as the government rushes to judgment and tries to ram people through a rubber-stamp system that ignores individual circumstances,” said the ACLU in a statement.

“These enforcement programmes pose a variety of threats to civil liberties – They implicate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the constitutional guarantee of due process, and the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and freedom from discrimination based on race, ethnicity and national origin.

“ICE’s enforcement practices also impose heavy social costs, tearing American families apart and undermining community trust in law enforcement,” it added, stating that CBP’s “militarisation of the border region has produced rampant abuses, ranging from racial profiling to excessive force.”

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