Contractors running immigrant detention centers aren’t reporting some serious violations such as sexual assaults, and federal immigration officials aren’t watching what they do closely enough, according to an inspector general’s report released by the Department of Homeland Security. HuffPost reports that contractors are failing to reporting serious incidents, including sexual assaults and employee misconduct. The report also says in many cases, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is issuing waivers to contracted detention centers that allow them to skirt the rules. ICE has approved 65 waivers that allow contractors to ignore the requirements included in their contracts with the government, according to the IG report.
People posing as immigration lawyers are nothing new, and neither are efforts to expose them. But it’s hard to catch and expose those fakes, according to an article at Salon and Reveal. Part of the problem is that victims of immigration scams don’t know where to turn to report the crimes.
“Lawyers and community organizations have known about this issue – notario scams and immigration fraud – for a very long time,” said Prof. Juan Manuel Pedroza, who teaches sociology at University of California at Santa Cruz. “The issue was: Is there way we can figure out where it’s happening and where the prevalence is really high? We’re not there yet.”
Reporting these fraudsters to authorities comes with other risks for undocumented immigrants: tipping off the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Read more about possible ways to fight immigration fraud at Salon.
The Department of Homeland Security will begin increasing the amount of online data it collects about immigrants in October, according to reports. DHS will expand its data collection to include social media posts and search results. The new policy will include immigrants who have obtained a green card as well as naturalized citizens, and is scheduled to go into effect on October 18th. More details are available at the Federal Register and Gizmodo.