Reports of mistreatment of detained immigrants

This is an incomplete collection of reports—from news media, government agencies such as CA’s Attorney General and DHS’s Office of the Inspector General, and NGOs such as Human Rights Watch—of mistreatment (negligence and/or active abuse) of people detained in ICE and/or CBP facilities. We want to back-fill stories that are as yet unaccounted for, as our time and discovery capabilities allow.

We’re only linking to credible news sources, legitimate organizations, and official government publications (including letters/announcements from Members of Congress).

See also our past Deep Dive on immigrant detention: A Century of Injustice, and How You Can Help End It

Last updated: July 30, 2019


McAllen, TX — 2014-06


Dilley, TX — 2015-06


Grants, NM — 2016-07

(Note: The Cibola County Correctional Center was shut down in October 2016, then reopened the following January after ICE offered the county $30 million/year.)


Note: There are two reasons why there are fewer articles prior to 2018.

One reason is that Trump’s family separation policy brought a spotlight to this issue; some articles about 2014 and 2015 events, which you should find listed under those years whenever possible, were published in 2018 or 2019.

The other is that this document was started in 2019, so older articles must be back-filled, which means they must be discovered by searching, archive-diving, link-crawling, etc.

Douglas, AZ — 2018-02

New Jersey (three facilities) — 2018-02

ORR facilities (general), child separation — 2018-04 to 2018-06

Albuquerque, NM — 2018-05

California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey (four ICE facilities) — 2018-05 through 2018-11

Brownsville, TX — 2018-06

Los Fresnos, TX — 2018-06

McAllen, TX — 2018-06

Unidentified CBP facility — 2018-06

Multiple DHS facilities — 2018-07

  • Letter from two “medical and psychiatric subject matter experts for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)” to the chairman of the Senate Whistleblowing Caucus concerning four years’ worth of “ongoing and future threat of harm to children posed by the current and proposed expansion of the family detention program”: 

Chicago, IL — 2018-07

Tornillo, TX — 2018-11

(Note: The Tornillo facility has since closed.)


California (10 facilities across the state) — 2019-03

Chaparral, NM — 2019-03

Clint, TX — 2019-03

El Paso, TX — 2019-05

McAllen, TX — 2019-05

Weslaco, TX — 2019-05

All ORR facilities — 2019-06

Homestead, FL — 2019-06

Clint, TX — 2019-06

El Paso, TX — 2019-06

See list for Clint, TX for the same date. (Clint is near El Paso and some stories about the Clint facility are datelined El Paso.)

McAllen, TX — 2019-06

Homestead, FL — 2019-06

California (nine facilities across the state) — 2019-06

El Paso, TX and Clint, TX — 2019-07

(This list is specifically about the Congressional visits of July 1)

Rio Grande Valley, TX (5 CBP facilities, including McAllen, TX) — 2019-07

Clint, TX — 2019-07

Yuma, AZ — 2019-07

McAllen, TX and Donna, TX — 2019-07

Vice President Pence visits two facilities in Texas, witnesses hungry men in overcrowded cages who haven’t showered for 10–20 days, calls that “care every American would be proud of”: 

McAllen, TX — 2019-07

Louisiana and Mississippi — 2019-07

Pearsall, TX — 2019-07