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Reporting Abusive Treatment By The USCIS
Thousands of Immigrants receive immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year, navigating their way through the often difficult and confusing process.
And while it is expected that Immigrants should be held to the standards of qualification defined by law to demonstrate eligibility, no immigrant should ever expect to be treated discourteously, disrespectfully or in an abusive way by a USCIS Officer or employee.
However, it does happen and when it does, Immigrants do have the right to report mistreatment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS strives to maintain the public’s trust and provide quality services and does investigate credible reports of abuse.
One such incident reported to me recently was from an U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse during a marriage interview case wherein the USCIS officer demanded that the U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse go to their car and bring him their cell phones. Once they returned with the phones, the officer demanded that they give him the phones and passcodes and he preceded look at all of their personal text messages and cell phone photos. The Citizen and his wife did not consent to this, but frightened, they did as they were demanded to do. None of this is official USCIS procedures and much of what the officer did was a violation of their rights. In cases like these, complaints should be made as soon after the event as possible.
To make a report, you can use one of the following:
Call the DHS Hotline at 1-800-323-8603
Send a fax at (202) 254-4292
File a written complaint to:
Department of Homeland Security
Attn: Office of the Inspector General Hotline
245 Murray Drive, Building 410 Stop: 2600
Washington, D.C. 20528
Be sure to include: 1) the date, time and location of the incident, 2) detailed description of the what happened to you 3) the name(s) of employee(s) involved.