Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Faults Detention System in Arizona

A new report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights entitled Report on Immigration in the United States: Detention and Due Process, finds the immigration detention system in the United States in conflict with international human rights standards.  The report – the first of its kind from an international body – was written after lengthy fact finding visits to Arizona and Texas detention facilities for men, women, and unaccompanied children during the summer of 2009, including two facilities in Florence and one in Phoenix.  The Commission faulted the United States for its overreliance on punitive prison like facilities to detain immigrants instead of less costly community based alternatives, the obstacles created by the disproportionate use of detention for immigrants trying to pursue legal defenses to removal – especially when they do not have legal counsel, and its failure to adequately address poor conditions in facilities relating to access to counsel and family visitation,  mental health and medical care, outdoor recreation, and the costs of making phone calls.  The entire report can be found here.  To learn more about the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, visit their website.