by Syra Ortiz-Blanes
“Legal service groups that represent detained migrants have sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, alleging the agency prevents lawyers and their clients in Miami’s Krome Detention Center and three other detention facilities from speaking regularly and confidentially.
‘Defendants have systematically failed to ensure compliance with constitutional requirements, federal law, and ICE’s own policies regarding access to counsel,’ according to the lawsuit filed in mid-October.
Miami-based Americans for Immigrant Justice and four other legal groups accused ICE and the Department of Homeland Security of harming detainees’ immigration cases by not offering regular and reliable avenues of communication between detainees and lawyers. The suit also names Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson as defendants.
The groups allege in the suit that ICE and DHS don’t give enough access to confidential video calls and private in-person communication. They also contend the agencies restrict phone call access and the exchange of legal documents, and that detainees with disabilities are not offered reasonable access to counsel accommodations.”