Members of Congress call for investigation into ICE treatment of Muslim detainees at Florida facility
Members of Congress are demanding an investigation into allegations that Muslim detainees at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility are being forced to choose between meals that are spoiled and meals that violate the tenets of their faith because they contain pork. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security officials, three Muslim members of Congress and 26 additional congressional signatories point to reports surrounding the Krome facility in Miami, but they call for an even broader inquiry:
As you are no doubt aware, forcing Muslim detainees to choose between eating pork and eating spoiled halal food would be a clear violation of ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards. They would also be clear violations of the civil rights and civil liberties of Muslim detainees.
We further note that Krome is not likely to be the only facility where these alleged violations are occurring. For this reason, we ask that your investigation…be expanded to include investigations of other facilities with significant numbers of detainees requiring religious accommodations. We also request a list of those facilities, including the numbers of detainees requiring religious accommodations, disaggregated by religion, at each of them.
A separate letter sent by three members of the Florida congressional delegation similarly calls for an investigation.
Allegations surrounding the Krome facility were brought to light by Muslim Advocates and Americans for Immigrant Justice, which argued the treatment amounted to repeated violations of the First Amendment. A lawsuit filed by the groups last year alleged mistreatment of Muslim detainees at Florida’s Glades County Detention Center.