Immigration2021-10-25T13:33:27-04:00

Immigration

Government Accountability Project has a history of working with immigration whistleblowers who have spoken up to issue warnings and expose serious abuses and threats of harm from immigration policies, practices, and conditions in the United States.  Our former and current clients include:

  • Cathy Harris, a former senior inspector for the U.S. Customs Service (USCS) at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, who alerted us to the USCS discriminatory practice of racial profiling in 1999.
  • Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson, the medical and mental health subject matter experts for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), who came to us in 2018 to support them in raising their ongoing concerns of harms to children in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention.
  • Ellen Gallagher, a former policy adviser at CRCL and current employee at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General who raised concerns about ICE’s widespread, systemic use of solitary confinement on mentally ill and medically vulnerable adult detainees in 2019.
  • Asylum Officer Douglas Stephens and USCIS union president Michael Knowles who early on alerted us to the illegal and dangerous effects of the Migrant Protection Protocols (or “Remain in Mexico” program) shortly after its implementation in 2019.
  • Josiah “Jody” Rich, expert in detention health and subject matter expert for CRCL, who along with colleague Dr. Scott Allen warned about the risk to immigrants, workers, and the public from the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention.
  • The Anonymous Richwood Whistleblowers, all current or former detention officers at the Richwood Correctional Center, an ICE facility in Monroe, Louisiana, who also raised concerns about unsafe practices related to the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention.
  • Dawn Wooten, a nurse who worked at the Irwin County Detention Center, an ICE facility in Ocilla, Georgia, whose disclosures of medical misconduct, including hysterectomies performed on women without informed consent, went viral in 2020.
  • Laurie Elkin and Justin Mulaire, federal employees assigned to help unaccompanied children at the Fort Bliss Emergency Influx Site in Texas, who witnessed atrocious mismanagement with harmful consequences to the medical and mental health needs of traumatized children in Health and Human Services (HHS) detention.

Government Accountability Project is proud to represent immigration whistleblowers, who help hold our immigration system accountable to the public and to high standards of human rights. If you are an employee or contractor in the U.S. immigration system and are considering blowing the whistle, fill out our intake form here.

Our Related Work

Whistleblower Network News: “It was shocking to all of us.” — WNN Exclusive Interview with Immigration Detention Center Whistleblowers Lauren Reinhold and Kait Hess

“It was shocking to all of us.” — WNN Exclusive Interview with Immigration Detention Center Whistleblowers Lauren Reinhold and Kait Hess This podcast features Government Accountability Project's whistleblower clients, Lauren Reinhold and Kait Hess, and was originally published here. “It was shocking to all of us.”  In this episode of the Whistleblower of the Week podcast, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner talks with Lauren Reinhold and Kait Hess, two federal employees who answered the call to serve as volunteer [...]

Letter: Vote ‘No’ on the “Border Safety and Security Act”

The Honorable Members of the 118th CongressU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C.January 12, 2023 Dear Honorable Members of the 118th Congress: With the new year comes new opportunities for the U.S. government to establish a humane and orderly immigration policy that respects human rights. The newly elected majority in theHouse of Representatives, however, is moving in the opposite direction, rolling out anintentionally divisive legislative agenda that panders to hate and anti-immigrant animusrather than actual policy solutions. [...]

Whistleblower Network News: Irwin County Detention Center Whistleblower Dawn Wooten Files New Complaint Alleging Retaliation

Irwin County Detention Center Whistleblower Dawn Wooten Files New Complaint Alleging Retaliation This article features Government Accountability Project whistleblower client, Dawn Wooten, and was originally published here. Dawn Wooten, a nurse who blew the whistle and alleged widespread medical neglect at an immigration detention center in 2020, filed a new complaint alleging that she was retaliated against for speaking to “the press, Congress, and nonprofit advocacy groups” about what she witnessed. Wooten’s 2020 Allegations On September [...]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia ICE Whistleblower Files Suit Against Private Prison Company

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia ICE Whistleblower Files Suit Against Private Prison Company This article features Government Accountability Project whistleblower client, Dawn Wooten, and was originally published here. A whistleblower who came forward with explosive allegations of medical abuse at a since shuttered immigrant jail in Ocilla is suing the private prison company that ran the detention center. Dawn Wooten is a Tifton resident and a nurse by training. In late December, she filed a [...]

Partners

Founded in October 2020, Sur Legal Collaborative is an immigrant and worker rights organization based in Georgia –  a state with some of the weakest worker protections and harshest immigration policies in the country. Sur Legal seeks to democratize legal knowledge and provide advocacy, education and legal support to build the power of grassroots movements fighting for economic, racial, and social justice in the Deep South.

Sur Legal Collaborative is fiscally sponsored by Government Accountability Project, a non-profit, non-partisan charitable organization recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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