Government Accountability Project Submits Comments for ICE Oversight Hearings

WASHINGTON – Government Accountability Project submitted statements for two congressional oversight hearings on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention practices held today highlighting the disclosures of our clients and immigration whistleblowers, Drs. Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson, and Ellen Gallagher. All three whistleblowers have raised serious concerns about the topic of the hearings, namely the troubling consequences of the use and expansion of ICE detention practices and the very real threat of physical and psychological harm posed by such practices. 

The statements — one submitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and the other to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Oversight, Management & Accountability Subcommittee — call attention to the doctors’ and Gallagher’s disclosures, which identify systemic problems in both family and adult detention that threaten, and too often result in, serious harm to migrant detainees. Drs. Allen and McPherson raised the alarm about how expanded detention under the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy would exacerbate existing risks of harm posed to children in ICE detention that were unresolved even before populations increased, including a lack of trained medical professionals, inadequate translation capacity, and dangerous detention facilities. Gallagher disclosed ICE’s widespread use of solitary confinement on mentally ill and medically vulnerable adult detainees, practices which are in violation of statutory mandates and federal detention standards and qualify as torture under United Nations standards

Of the statements and hearings, Senior Counsel Dana Gold said, 

“Our clients have been calling attention to the catastrophic consequences of ICE detention practices for years. The fact that their whistleblower disclosures failed to prompt immediate changes in ICE detention practices signals why Congress’s oversight and investigation of these abuses is so critical. We applaud this first step in holding the government accountable for threats to human health and safety.”

Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director


Phone: 202-457-0034 ext. 156

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, the Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, the Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C