Demanding Full Investigation into ICE facilities as Sexual Assault cases rise.


Photo by Wikimedia Commons Fair use

Maritza Ramirez ‘23

The Seperation of powers and Checks and Balances of our American goverment are not being upheld as several ICE guards are seemingly held above the law. They are committing crimes of sexual assault that are not being criminally investigated even when there have been more than 14,700 sexual assault complaints filed by immigrants in 2016. There is an obvious power dynamics between ICE guards and the immigrants being detained at these facilites.  The ICE guards have ultimate power over the immigrants suffering the abuse. To fully protect both parties involved, both the immigrants and the ICE guards being accused, there needs to be a full investigation and if necessary a criminal trial in a court of law.

    The very clear power dynamic is one of the main reasons there needs to be further investigation into every claim of sexual assault made. Allegations from many immigrants convey a story in which the guard threatens them with deportation and claims that “no one would believe them.” This creates a very toxic and dangerous atmosphere for the immigrants being abused and everyone else in the ICE facilites.

    There have been many cases in which the immigrant is misrepresented in trial or is conveniently deported during the trial. A 35-year old women had filed a complaint against an ICE guard and she was deported three days later by the Depratment of Homeland Security. The frustration in this case was due to the fact that the goverment “allowed their most powerful witness to be deported.” This is completely unfair and it is clear the immigrants are not being treated rightfully or justly in the American court of law.

    ICE is not fully taking these claims seriously and not fully investigating them. Of the 33,000 cases reported between 2010 and 2016, less than 1 percent have been fully investigated by the Department of Homeland SecurityOf the 33,000 cases reported between 2010 and 2016, less than 1 percent have been fully investigated by the Department of Homeland Security. This is not a political issue about who is a citizen and who isn’t. This is a human rights issue in which immigrants from other countries are being abused at goverment facilities.  This is an issue that has being on for so long and has victimized so many immigrants, and now more than ever it is necessary to began  investigations and trials to stop the sexual assault by ICE guards.

    Some may say that the claims against some of the ICE guards are causing a bad representation of other innocent guards. This is partially true but at the same time this is not an issue of popularity, human beings are being sexually assaulted in their facilites. I believe all guards should be under the same scrutiny until they are able to completely prove thier innocence. Also some corrupt ICE guards doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all corrupt, there simply needs to be more investigation and punishment for the ones who are.

    It is evident that immigrants are already suffering in the brutal conditions of ICE facilites, and the sexual assault they are experiencing is only worsening their situation. Complaints of sexual assault are not being taken seriously, the power dynamic is silencing many immigrants from speaking up and in some cases trials are interrupted by the deportation of immigrant witnesses. These factors are contributing to more and more victims of sexual assault in ICE facilites. The immigrants who have already suffered this abuse will remain scarred. The number of immigrants who haven’t reported any assault out of fear is unimaginable. The number of immigrants who could be suffering because of this issue right now is devastating. If we rose up as a community and began to demand the conduct of full investigations and criminal trials, we could help put an end to the extensive, horrific sexual abuse of immigrants inside ICE facilites.