Jun 19, 2018

Homeland Security failed to investigate hundreds of civil rights complaints

Border patrol agents detaining migrants near Mexico. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security didn't investigate hundreds of civil rights complaints in 2017 alleging detainee abuse filed across all of the department's agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reports Motherboard, citing a Freedom of Information Act submission.

Why it matters: The allegations come at a time when the department is under heavy scrutiny for enforcing a policy that separates parents seeking asylum in the United States from their children.

The backdrop: This isn't the first time the department has been called out for not investigating claims. In April, the Intercept acquired documents from the Office of the Inspector General with about 33,000 complaints from detainees about abuses from ICE agents between 2010 to 2016.

  • Most complaints submitted in 2017 are marked "closed not converted," which was noted in a lawsuit by the ACLU and means "virtually no investigations into the complaints took place, or at least were completed."

In an email response to Motherboard, Arlen M. Morales from the DHS OIG public affairs office said, "Due to limited investigative resources, DHS OIG is unable to investigate every one of the thousands of complaints we receive each year."

Go deeper

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — along with patients nearing the state's time limits on the procedure.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The view from the other side of the coronavirus peak

We'll soon be crowding into cafes it's 1954 in Rapallo, Italy. Photo: LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

Go deeperArrow41 mins ago - World

God and COVID-19

Alone at the Western Wall. Photo: Guy Prives/Getty Images

Few aspects of life bring as many people together as religion.

Why it matters: In most crises, that is a blessing. In a pandemic, it can be dangerous.

Go deeperArrow51 mins ago - World