Proposed Federal Agency Action
Proposed on September 12, 2017

Policy Summary

On July 14, 2017, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) published a little-seen notice in the Federal Register that showed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had requested permission to destroy controversial detention records. The records that were targeted for destruction were of ICE detainee records and their incidents of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and deaths while in agency custody, among others. The request, as of September 15, 2017, has not yet been approved by NARA. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE


Victoria Lopez, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, said the proposed move does not give “sufficient opportunity for public scrutiny of [ICE’s] operations.” She went on to say that the records are also important in researching long-term trends and in determining how the issue of immigrant detention shapes law and policy. ICE’s request is also troubling because the perception is that ICE is trying to hide its pattern of abuses. American society today is bitterly divided on the issue of immigration and President Trump has taken a very hard line on immigrants coming to the U.S. Hiding the facts of previous abuses of immigrants by ICE will only inflame the current national debate and deprive policymakers of facts that could lead to more transparency and well-informed solutions. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Engagement Resources

This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact



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