Underwood Visits McHenry County Detention Facility Used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement

April 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON— On Friday, Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) visited the McHenry County Adult Correctional Center. The county has a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house detainees from around the Chicagoland area and around the country. The Congresswoman toured the facility, spoke with some of the detainees, and observed meal time. As Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Underwood recently toured ICE facilities along the U.S. - Mexico border and found the conditions to be un-American and unacceptable.  

“When I went to the U.S. – Mexico border earlier this month, what I saw horrified me. There were children in cages, babies crying, and people not getting the most basic medical care. It was unacceptable. I was glad to see better conditions in the McHenry facility that are more representative of our community’s values.

“I commend McHenry county’s local law enforcement. However, it is clear there much more work to be done at the federal level. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made it too challenging to schedule this visit so I could perform the basic oversight that is essential for our democracy. I look forward to continuing my work as Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee by working with local and federal officials to ensure we keep our country safe, while adhering to our moral values.”

Last month, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security for the first time since the Administration instituted a family separation policy. During this hearing, Underwood questioned Nielsen on the effects of toxic stress on children being separated from their families. Secretary Nielsen has yet to provided promised follow-up information to the Committee on the family separation policy. Full video of Underwood’s remarks can be found here.