Report: ICE inconsistent holding contractors accountable

PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) — A government report has found that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency doesn't always hold contractors who care for detained immigrants accountable.

The report by the Office of the Inspector General dated Tuesday found ICE doesn't routinely impose financial penalties on contractors for deficiencies such as failing to report problems such as sexual assaults or misconduct to the agency.

The government report specifically focused on the use of quality assurance plans built into ICE contracts with private companies or governments. ICE contracts out most of its detention services.

The inspector general found only 28 of the 106 facilities it investigated had such plans in their contracts. ICE has more than 200 facilities that detain immigrants, but not all were included in this report.

"Instead of holding facilities accountable through financial penalties, ICE issued waivers to facilities with deficient conditions, seeking to exempt them from having to comply with certain detention standards," the report states.

There have been reports of poor medical care and dangerous conditions at ICE facilities for years.

At the Adelanto Processing Center in California, another inspection found detainees had nooses hanging in their cells.

Spokesman Matthew Bourke said ICE has a strong record of holding its contractors accountable and the quality assurance plans are a rarely used resource.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all those in its custody," Bourke said in a statement.

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