U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) commemorated Human Rights Day December 10, the same day the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates the proposition that freedom, justice and peace in the world are fundamental rights and that all individuals are entitled to equality.
“The women and men of ICE dedicate themselves every day to protecting the dignity and human rights of people around the world. Through our work investigating perpetrators of genocide, torture, war crimes and other violations of human rights, they are committed to seeking the prosecution and removal of human rights violators seeking refuge here.” said Assistant Director for National Security David Shaw. “We will not allow the United States to be a safe haven for those who violate human rights.”
The HRVWCC works in close collaboration with the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit and other U.S. government and foreign law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, prosecute, extradite and remove from the United States individuals who have carried out genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious human rights violations. The HRVWCC has also sought to deny perpetrators of human rights abuses entry to the United States. While the United States welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and other persons who have been victims of war crimes and other atrocities, it will not be a safe haven to those who commit such atrocities.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 450 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 1034 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 160 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, HSI has more than 180 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,640 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 76,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 319 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.