I have the sickening feeling that very few people understand what “due process” translates into when we are talking about immigrants who are “detained” (locked up, imprisoned, incarcerated) in ICE “detention facilities” (jails, prisons). I’ve added a page to this website with a little bit of information. Where I link to a different page — for instance, the websites of courts or detention facilities or other entities — the information comes from those entities. The stories and editorial comments all come from my recent experience. Do note that practices and rules change frequently, and I’ve not even gotten into the half of it because the changes are so frequent.
No doubt I will be adding to this page. . .please read it and let me know what you think, especially if you have experience yourself as an immigrant, family member, friend, lawyer, correctional officer, government attorney, judge, or other participant in the process (I won’t share your name if you don’t want me to).
Click here for: Obstacles to due process for immigrants who are detained
About the photograph: I had to do a double-take when I saw this sign for the U.S. Service Processing Center, an ICE facility and immigration court (of sorts) at 5520 Greens Road in Houston. That day — May 21, 2014 — was the first time I had been there and I guess I am still naive and shockable. Those characteristics make it painful for me to practice immigration law, but I am also glad that I don’t take the system, “the way things are” for granted, at least not yet.
Why does this sign shock me? ICE is a law enforcement agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Immigration courts are part of the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice.
They don’t always feel like separate entities, but They. Are. Supposed. To. Be. Separate. And. Independent.
This sign is honest, shockingly so. No pretense here.