An Investigation into Complaints and Inspections at the Otero County Processing Center in New Mexico



The report “Why Doesn’t Anyone Investigate this Place?” reveals concerns raised by migrants detained at the Otero County Processing Center (OCPC) in Chaparral, New Mexico, an ICE immigration detention facility run by the for-profit Management and Training Corporation (MTC).

Click to read the report

The report documents over 200 complaints of abuse, made between 2015 and 2018, in 4 areas of concern: unhealthy living conditions; abuse and exploitation; social isolation and mental anguish; barriers to justice and legal access. 

Both ICE and MTC maintain that OCPC not only meets ICE standards, but exceeds them. While immigration detention is supposedly non-punitive, this report joins dozens of other investigations in New Mexico and nationwide conclusively demonstrating otherwise. ICE’s own evaluations corroborate the punitive and abusive nature of their detention facilities. Over the past 10 years, OCPC has repeatedly been found deficient of ICE immigration detention standards. Despite these deficiencies, OCPC routinely passes ICE inspections.

ICE standards maintain a façade of compliance, while ICE and MTC continually subject migrants at OCPC to inhumane conditions with impunity. Given the history of deficient and abusive conditions since it's opening a decade ago, it is time to close OCPC. Until this happens, to ensure the rights of those detained, independent unannounced inspections and oversight must begin immediately. 

Given the longer and more troubled history of ICE immigration detention facilities nationally, it is time to end immigration detention in the United States.  

The report was authored by Nathan Craig and Margaret Brown Vega and supported by Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee and Freedom for Immigrants.