March 1, 2012
Hormone treatments for transgendered detainees, abortion services and extensive outlets for complaints — these are just a few of the reasons Texas Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith is not pleased with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) recently released Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS).
In the spirit of detention reform, in 2011, for the first time since 2008, ICE finished its revision of detention standards for those being held for being in the country illegally. Those new standards were released this month. ICE has already started to implement the changes.
“PBNDS 2011 is crafted to improve medical and mental health services, increase access to legal services and religious opportunities, improve communication with detainees with limited English proficiency, improve the process for reporting and responding to complaints, reinforce protections against sexual abuse and assault, and increase recreation and visitation,” an ICE representative explained in its PBNDS fact sheet.
… “The Obama administration’s new detention manual is more like a hospitality guideline for illegal immigrants,” Smith wrote in a statement. “The administration goes beyond common sense to accommodate illegal immigrants and treats them better than citizens in federal custody.”