Council and Broad Coalition Urge Department of Homeland Security to Withdraw Records Destruction Plans


May 3, 2021

Immigration enforcement agencies—U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—plan to destroy important records that document a range of serious issuesRecords destruction schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) allow ICE and CBP to permanently destroy records documenting abuse, neglect, misconduct, and civil rights violations of people in detention.  

The American Immigration Council and a largediverse coalition of organizations urge NARA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw and review the records destruction schedules. The letter cites recent scrutiny of how DHS determines which records are worthy of preservation as well as alarming evidence of ICE and CBP abuseespecially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The lack of accountability for ICE and CBP abuse and misconduct is well established. Destroying documentation of such conduct would further hinder accountability and oversight at DHS. The records should be preserved, and future records destruction decisions must meaningfully involve the public. 

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