- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The facilities Homeland Security uses to detain illegal immigrant families are actually clean, well-run and meet the government’s standards, the inspector general said in a new report Wednesday that contradicts the complaints filed by immigrant-rights advocates.

Investigators said they made unannounced spot visits last year to three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities that detain families, and, while they spotted some problems with security and preventing intrusions, they did not see problems with the treatment of illegal immigrants themselves.

“The facilities were clean, well-organized, and efficiently run,” Inspector General John Roth said. “Based on our observations, interviews, and document reviews, we concluded that, at all three facilities, ICE was satisfactorily addressing the inherent challenges of providing medical care and language services and ensuring the safety of families in detention.”

Investigators didn’t have any recommendations for changes.

The facilities have long been controversial, but have come under even more scrutiny with the massive influx of illegal-immigrant children and families from Central America who poured across the U.S.-Mexico border, fleeing rough conditions at home and seeking to take advantage of lax enforcement under President Obama.

Advocates said the families were being maltreated, and said any detention at all of families is inhumane.

The Obama administration and now the Trump administration have defended the facilities, saying they are needed to ensure that illegal immigrants are deported properly. They also said the facilities are as humane as can be.

In the new report, investigators detailed well-run facilities that look more like schools and dormitories than prisons.

Detainees are given medical care, information is provided in English, Spanish and even Quiché, an indigenous Central American language spoken by some of the new arrivals.

Advocacy groups have complained about conditions, including having lights on at night in some areas and doing welfare checks throughout the night, but the investigators concluded those were “reasonable” safety measures.

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