Asylum seekers coming to the border often come with important paperwork needed to make their case: birth, death and marriage certificates, government issued ID, photographs of torture and death. There have long been complaints and allegations that CBP and/or ICE regularly lose (“lose”) these documents when people are in detention. This weekend a California immigration lawyer reported her detainee client observed the willful destruction of legal files. This is, as some have noted, a violation of the Federal Records Act. It also makes it vastly more difficult to make a successful asylum claim. Some organizations (Al Otro Lado among them) offer to scan documents and put them “in the cloud” for just this reason.
Left ICE detention today livid. Client observed guards pouring water on legal docs and ripping up folders. Evidence can be life or death for an ICE detainee. When she filed a grievance, she was mocked. We are caging people based on birthplace & killing their spirits. For profit.
— McKibben Law (@LawKristina) February 9, 2019