5. Dora Schriro
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 3:30 pm
Though not exactly a household name, Dr. Dora Schriro, a special adviser to the Department of Homeland Security until she announced her departure in September, had an outsize impact during her short tenure at DHS. In April, she issued a critical report that documented major problems in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention system. The number of detainees in ICE custody has doubled over the last ten years; according to Schriro’s report, that means the agency now operates the largest detention and supervised release program in the country. Schriro documented a poorly managed system that incarcerates low-risk immigrants in the same facilities as hardened criminals, provides inadequate health care and often sends immigrants to remote areas far from their families and lawyers. That report and her subsequent congressional testimony have become the basis for a major commitment by ICE to overhaul its detention system, something advocates have sought for years.
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