Detention

We advocate for the rights of all immigrants, whether they are applying for status upon entry or fighting for their right to stay in the United States. Our program represents detained clients and advocate for changes in the current detention system. Here are some past projects:

Direct Representation

Our program represents detainees in Massachusetts and across the country. Here are some client stories:

  • “John” fled his home country in East Africa after being subjected to persecution and torture. He was granted deferral of removal after working with clinical students and attorneys.
  •  An indigenous Guatemalan asylum-seeker was detained in Strafford, New Hampshire amid the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to an emergency habeas petition filed by GBLS and the ACLU, he was released from detention.

Litigation

Class Action Petition & Complaint (12/20)
Our Program, along with organizations from across the country, filed this petition and complaint on behalf of women who experienced medical abuse while in ICE custody.

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (12/20)
Our Program, along with organizations from across the country, filed this motion on behalf of women who experienced medical abuse while in ICE custody.

Policy Advocacy

Violence and Violation: Medical Abuse of Immigrants Detained at the Irwin County Detention Center (09/21)
This report, written by written by Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network, in collaboration with the HLS Immigration Project and the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, details firsthand accounts from survivors who were subjected to invasive and nonconsensual surgeries and gynecological procedures, while detained in the custody of ICE.

Failed Accountability: The Unknown Cost of Immigration Detention in Massachusetts (01/20)
This Crimmigration Clinic report analyzes immigration detention trends in Massachusetts over the last few years, including: the number of individuals detained in Massachusetts facilities; the revenue Massachusetts facilities receive from the federal government for housing ICE detainees; the costs associated with immigration detention at these facilities; and whether those costs and revenues represent a net loss or gain to the Commonwealth.

Solitary Voices (05/19)
This investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists focuses on the misuse of solitary confinement in detention centers in the U.S. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) obtained by HIRC helped release records from ICE on the solitary detainment of immigrants.

Comments on Family Detention (11/18)
Our program, in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) and the HLS Immigration Project (HIP), submitted comments on proposals regarding the detention of immigrant children.

Comments on Flores v. Reno (11/18)
Our program, in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) and the HLS Immigration Project (HIP), submitted comments on proposals regarding the end of the Flores v. Reno settlement.

Recent News

"The investigation profiles immigrants held in solitary and a  whistleblower at DHS. The journalists analyzed and synthesized thousands of pages of records obtained on immigrants
"One of the facilities covered in that report was the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, which the inspector general visited in
Since the beginning, HIRC has partnered with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), the largest provider of free legal services in