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Eight Immigration Advocacy Groups File Complaint Against DHS

Following a series of nation-wide raids this summer that sent nearly 400 undocumented minors to immigration detention facilities, eight immigrants' rights organizations have collectively filed twin complaints against Immigration and Customs Enforcement with its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.

Those organizations—including the National Immigrant Justice Center and Americans for Immigrant Justice—say that the raids, conducted between June and August by ICE officers, unlawfully coerced minors into divulging information about the immigration status and whereabouts of adult family members.

ICE officials then allegedly used that information to track down and lure family members to ICE offices, where they were arrested and detained. The complaints, which claim ICE's actions violate domestic and international refugee laws, were filed within DHS's Office of Civil Rights and Office of the Inspector General.

In a press release announcing the complaints, Diane Eikenberry, NIJC's associate policy director, said that DHS officials "have threatened children, misled their caregivers, and denied them fundamental constitutional protections." She called the raids "a deliberate and systematic campaign to use children as bait to ensnare their parents."