New Mexico senators request investigation into oversight, conditions for ICE detainees

By:  Cristina Carreon

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) sent a letter on Nov. 15 to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting secretary Chad Wolf and DHS inspector Gen. Joseph Cuffari requesting an investigation into oversight and conditions for detainees held at all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities

In the letter, the senators requested the DHS Office of Inspector General evaluate ICE detention standards violations and release that report to the public.

According to press materials released by Heinrich's office Monday morning, “We are troubled by continued reports of inhumane treatment at ICE detention facilities that appear to be widespread at facilities housing ICE detainees across the country."

According to the letter the senators sent to Acting Secretary Wolf, a crucial basis for the letter was a report released in June identifying violations of ICE detention standards.

"On June 3, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report identifying violations of ICE's detention standards and raised concerns about the agency's failure to provide adequate conditions for its detainees," the letter states.

MORE: Governor Lujan Grisham urges probe of Otero County Processing Center

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote to the Department of Homeland Security on Oct. 25 requesting an investigation into conditions at the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico, that were potentially leading to attempted suicides.

"We write in support of a full review of conditions at that facility and all other ICE detention facilities,” wrote the senators.