Council Sues To Get Records of ICE’s Treatment of Haitian Nationals at the Torrance Detention Facility


This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide information about the agency’s treatment of Haitian nationals detained at the Torrance Detention Facility.

After encountering harsh conditions upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, thousands of Haitian migrants were transferred from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention to await immigration proceedings. ICE detained dozens of these Haitian migrants at the Torrance County Detention Facility, a detention center in a remote part of New Mexico notorious for its deplorable living conditions.

Partner organizations assisting individuals at Torrance reported that in addition to the appalling living conditions, Haitian migrants were deprived of their due process rights. They complained of rushed removal proceedings, lack of language access, and the ICE’s resistance to allowing them to see legal representatives.

In December 2021, the Council filed a FOIA request with ICE to understand

  1. Why the agency chose to house these Haitian nationals at Torrance.
  2. Problems with attorneys’ access to detained Haitians.
  3. How the agency determined whether to release individuals on parole. ICE did not respond to our request.

The lawsuit is being filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.

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