CREEC believes that immigration detention – in which people alleged to have violated civil statutes are confined in prison-like settings – is inherently constitutionally suspect and inappropriate for the vast majority of non-citizens awaiting resolution of their immigration status. However, while detention is sanctioned by the courts and Congress, CREEC’s Immigration Detention Accountability Project (IDAP) will fight to ensure that people held in ICE custody are held in constitutionally adequate conditions, receive constitutionally adequate care, and are not discriminated against on the basis of disability. We will undertake this work at the individual, facility-specific, and system-wide level, in the form of direct representation, class action litigation, and serving as resources and educators for the disability rights and immigration communities.
IDAP focuses on three major areas:
- Impact litigation challenging the conditions of confinement in immigration detention centers;
- Impact litigation challenging discrimination against detained immigrants with disabilities; and
- Education and outreach on detention conditions and treatment of immigrants with disabilities.
IDAP also provides pro bono direct representation of detained immigrants in support of these goals.
Recent IDAP accomplishments include:
- on April 20, 2020, federal judge orders ICE to review for release every person with COVID-19 risk factors. View the press release and order.
- in partnership with co-counsel, CREEC filed an emergency application for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking a court order requiring that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) take immediate steps to protect people in immigration detention facilities from COVID-19, particularly those at heightened risk.
- in partnership with others, filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security regarding the treatment of disabled immigration detainees. Fraihat v. ICE;
- partnership with major national civil rights and immigration nonprofits in filing a class action against President Trump and Attorney General Sessions challenging conditions of detained immigrants at Victorville federal medium security prison. This suit was settled pre-trial;
- several other impact cases are in process;
- representation of several individual detained immigrants;
- presentations on each of these topics across the nation; and
- preparation and circulation of educational materials on the rights of detained immigrants with disabilities.
About the IDAP Director
Liz Jordan joined CREEC as our first CREEC Fellow in June, 2017, proposing a project to challenge conditions in immigration detention facilities.
Liz graduated summa cum laude from NYU School of Law in 2013. After law school, she worked first as a Fellow with the Capital Appeals Project in Louisiana, where she represented capital defendants on appeal. She then represented immigrant children facing deportation in New York with The Door’s Legal Services Center. Prior to law school, Liz spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Spain studying human rights issues and several years as an international human rights advocate in New York. She received her B.A. from Yale College in 2006. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana and New York.
- In February, 2018, CREEC filed a FOIA lawsuit seeking the disclosure of documentation of detainee deaths, alleged abuse and other substandard conditions of confinement at the Adelanto and Etowah immigration detention facilities. CREEC is represented pro bono by Thomas B. Kelley and Amber R. Gonzales of Ballard Spahr LLP. Click here to read the full FOIA case page.
- In March, 2018, CREEC, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center, sent a letter to the Etowah County Commission and Etowah County Sheriff, urging officials to include outdoor recreation for immigration detainees in renovation plans for the Etowah County Detention Center (ECDC).
- In August, 2018, CREEC, along with The American Civil Liberties Union, and Prison Law Office, filed a class action lawsuit against President Trump and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating the constitutional rights of immigrants detained at FCI Victorville, a federal prison in Victorville, California. Click here to read the full Victorville case page.
- In August, 2019, CREEC, along with Southern Poverty Law Center, Disability Rights Advocates, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security regarding the treatment of disabled immigration detainees. Click here to read the Fraihat v. ICE case page.
To get in contact with the IDAP team please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conferences, Talks, and Articles
- April, 2020 – “ICE delayed its pandemic response, putting detainees at ‘substantial’ risk of harm, judge finds,” published in The Washington Post, April 21, 2020.
- March, 2020 – “Calls for federal officials to protect immigrant detainees from coronavirus grow louder,” published in Desert Sun, March 27, 2020.
- March, 2019 – “Rights Groups File for Emergency Injunction for ICE to Release Detainees if it Won’t do More to Prevent COVID-19 Spread,” published in Newsweek, March 25, 2020.
- October, 2019 – “Civil Rights Groups Charge that ICE Disregards Immigrants’ Medical, Mental Health Needs and Ignores Discrimination Against Immigrants with Disabilities,” published in Civil Rights Insider, Fall 2019 edition, pg 4.
- October, 17, 2019 – IDAP presented about CREEC’s work on Fraihat v ICE and disability rights work for incarcerated immigrants in session titled, “New Frontiers in Detention Litigation” at the National Immigration Project’s annual membership meeting in Durham, NC.
- September 25-26, 2019 – IDAP participated in two panels: “Current Disability Rights for Immigrants: Legislative and Regulatory Landscape” and “Spotlight: Mental Health and Immigration” at the Chicagoland Immigration and Disability Summit 2019 in Chicago, IL.
- August, 19, 2019 – We spoke at the Fraihat v. ICE Press Conference on August, demanding accountability from ICE for the treatment of detainees.
- October, 2018 – CREEC spoke to law students at Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver at the “Colorado Challenges Immigration Detention” part of the DU Crimmigration Law & Policy Event Series.
- May, 2018 – CREEC participated in the Detention Watch Network’s 12th National Member Conference