ICE Emails Pertaining to Congressional Appropriations, Detention Standards, and Pregnant and Transgender Detainees

Emails from officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) related to treatment of detainees as well as deaths in custody.

American Oversight has received multiple document productions in response to this Freedom of Information Act request. Documents released by ICE in March 2020 include a set of emails from January to August 2018 between Thomas Blank, former chief of staff of ICE, and various ICE officials. The officials discuss detention standards and oversight, particularly in relation to pregnant detainees. Among these emails is an entirely redacted memo, sent to ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leaders, about the Cibola County Correctional Center (which is designated for transgender detainees) in New Mexico from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. One heavily redacted thread of emails between former acting Director of ICE Ronald Vitiello and Blank discusses “detention issues” and “corrective action plans.”

April 8, 2019: This is an entirely redacted memo on the Cibola County detention center, which is designated for transgender detainees. This memo is from the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and directed to ICE and CBP leaders. Public reporting on the many tragic incidents that have happened at this center led to our request.

Sept. 26, 2018: Email thread among ICE officials about detention standards and oversight. Attachments were not included in the production.

Records received from November 5, 2019, through April 13, 2020


Records received April 22, 2020

Records received on June 7 and Aug. 20, 2020
Records received from February to April 2021
Records received from October 2021 to February 2023