Senators Demand Answers From ICE on Misuse of Solitary Confinement

Letter Follows Whistleblower Demand for Congressional Investigation

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, Sens. Blumenthal (D-CT) and Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding further information regarding the agency’s use of solitary confinement. In the letter, they requested information on “what steps ICE has taken to document and justify the use of segregation.” Sens. Blumenthal and Grassley both have long track records of supporting whistleblowers and appreciating the value of their disclosures. 

The senators’ action followed news reports about Government Accountability Project client Ellen Gallagher’s efforts to address ICE’s misuse of solitary confinement or “segregation” for mentally ill and medically vulnerable adult migrant detainees. Gallagher, a lawyer and expert on immigration at the Department of Homeland Security, has been raising concerns about ICE’s abuses internally to DHS, to the Office of Special Counsel, and to Congress since 2014. 

Dana Gold, Government Accountability Project’s Senior Counsel and Director of Education said, 

“Our client Ellen Gallagher has been raising concerns about ICE’s widespread, illegal practice of putting civil detainees in solitary confinement for years, and these abusive practices have only expanded with increased detention under the administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. With detention conditions now in the national spotlight, we applaud Congress for conducting needed oversight into these ongoing, urgent issues and for supporting whistleblowers who are invaluable for exposing and addressing serious abuses.”

Contact: Dana Gold, Senior Counsel and Director of Education 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (202) 457-0034 ext. 160

Government Accountability Project

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