U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) commemorates Human Rights Day on 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 that all individuals are entitled to equality. This year, Human Rights Day calls on each person to reaffirm his/her common humanity and to stand up for the human rights of others.
“We are committed to ensuring the U.S. does not become a safe haven for human rights violators,” said Sarah R. Saldaña, ICE director.
“Through the dedication of the women and men of ICE, we have had successful investigations leading to the prosecution and deportation of many human rights violators who mistakenly thought they could seek refuge in our country.”
“We will continue leveraging our resources to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
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 fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 375 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 815 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States.
Currently, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations has more than 140 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,735 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.
Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 70,350 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 194 human rights violators or war crime suspects from entering the United States.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199.