OAS Panel Criticizes U.S. Immigration Law Enforcement


Immigration enforcement in the U.S. is plagued by unjust treatment of detainees, including inadequate access to lawyers and insufficient medical care, and by the excessive use of prison-style detention, the human rights arm of the Organization of American States said yesterday, according to the New York Times. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued its findings in a report that also criticized the federal program that allows county and state law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

The report said the U.S. had failed to ensure that local police were not singling out people by race or detaining illegal immigrants on the pretext of investigating crimes. The commission recommended that the federal government cancel the program, known as 287(g). The report appeared to be the first comprehensive review of American immigration enforcement in recent years by an international body of the organization's stature. The 155-page report was based on hearings and research that began in 2008, including visits by investigators in 2009 to six detention centers in Arizona and Texas.

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