NYIFUP Statement in Response to the Removal of Two Orange County Corrections Officers from the ICE Detainee Unit at Orange County Correctional Facility

February 24, 2022

Alejandra Lopez, The Legal Aid Society, AILopez@legal-aid.org, 917-294-9348
Daniel Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services, dball@bds.org
Chi Nguyen, The Bronx Defenders, cnguyen@bronxdefenders.org, 347-842-2943


NYIFUP Statement in Response to the Removal of Two Orange County Corrections Officers from the ICE Detainee Unit at Orange County Correctional Facility 

Attorneys Demand Release of Clients at OCCF and All Incarcerated Immigrants 

On Monday, the New York City Council Will Hold a Hearing on Conditions at OCCF and Other ICE Facilities

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and The Bronx Defenders New York City’s defender organizations providing free legal representation to detained immigrants through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) today released the below statement in response to reporting that two Orange County Correctional Facility (OCCF) corrections officers were removed from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainee unit at OCCF in Goshen amid allegations of “racist and retaliatory abuse, violence, and medical neglect,” brought by six public interest groups.

“Removing these two officers from the ICE unit but keeping them employed at the facility is not enough to protect the safety of incarcerated people or address the widespread culture of abuse within OCCF. Following an investigation, any corrections officer responsible for racist and abusive behavior should be subject to disciplinary action, and all incarcerated immigrants should be released immediately. As public defenders, we hear daily from the people we represent of the racist abuse, dehumanizing conditions, and medical neglect they are subjected to. Without providing a timely and decisive plan to redress the blatant human rights violations and retaliatory abuse by correctional staff against detained immigrants, ICE and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are sending a clear message that they do not care about the constitutional rights, health, and safety of the people in their custody. We call on state and federal officials to address these violations by holding these officers accountable, closing all ICE detention centers, passing the Dignity Not Detention Act in New York State, and freeing all incarcerated immigrants now.”

NYIFUP will testify on conditions in Orange County Correctional Facility at the New York City Council Committee on Immigration’s Oversight Hearing on COVID-19 in Immigration Detention Centers being held on Monday, February 28th at 10:00 AM.  


The New York Family Immigrant Unity Project (NYIFUP) is the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all detained indigent immigrants facing deportation at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City.