Although the explicit goal of Secure Communities is to improve public safety by increasing deportations of undocumented criminals, in practice the program catches many non-criminals in its net and can actually decrease public safety by eroding trust between immigrants and local police. Mistrust between police and immigrant communities can lead to underreporting of crimes, leaving these communities vulnerable to violence and impairing officers’ ability to investigate and solve crimes.
In the last week, two different federal courts have demonstrated a commitment to accountability for torture perpetrated by U.S. officials.
PHR Participates in Civil Society Consultation in Preparation for the US Review before the Committee Against Torture
Hans Hogrefe, PHR’s Chief Policy Officer, shared with the State Department detailed information about PHR’s work related to its Campaign Against Torture, including the problems facing women in immigration detention, the involvement of medical professionals in interrogations, and the importance of training medical professionals to recognize and document instances of torture and related abuse.
The majority of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security are not permitted to challenge the legality of their detention.
The daughter of Pedro Tavarez, a 49-year-old immigrant detainee who died while in custody of the Suffolk County House of Correction, filed a federal lawsuit against officials for their role in his death.