Immigration and detention: Aurora ICE facility under scrutiny

ICE detention

For years, an immigration detention center in an industrial Aurora neighborhood has operated without much attention or scrutiny from the community. 

But in 2019, the privately-operated detention center’s population exploded due to what President Trump calls a crisis at the border. The facility’s capacity nearly doubled to accommodate a rush of people who have turned up at the United States-Mexico border. Many are seeking asylum, saying their home countries are too dangerous. 

As conditions on the border dominated the headlines, people in Colorado began to focus their emotions about the intense immigration policy debate on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center on Aurora’s Oakland Street. Complaints about medical care and mistreatment began to grow louder after Rocky Mountain PBS published a long-secret internal review into the death of a man from Iran who died in ICE custody in 2017.

The RMPBS Insight with John Ferrugia team spent months investigating complaints and chronicling intensifying criticism of the detention center, marked by protests, counter-protests, lawsuits and critical government reports about how people are treated while they are held there awaiting the resolution of their immigration cases. 

Insight with John Ferrugia
Insight goes inside the controversial Aurora immigration detention center.

ICE Detention

Wrongful death lawsuit filed after death of man held in Aurora immigration detention center

Last Updated by Brittany Freeman on

The family of a longtime Colorado resident who died nearly two years ago in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the private company that operates ICE's Aurora detention facility and its former doctor.

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Police often do not investigate alleged crimes in Aurora's contract detention center

Posted by Brittany Freeman, John Ferrugia on

Sexual abuse allegations and suspected physical assaults are going unchecked by law enforcement at the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Aurora, a Rocky Mountain PBS investigation has found.

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“We didn’t have people who cared enough to save him”: Records describe Colorado man’s death in custody of immigration enforcement

Last Updated by John Ferrugia, Brittany Freeman on

The daughter of a man who died in the custody of immigration officials in Aurora nearly two years ago said she wants accountability, after Rocky Mountain PBS uncovered a government investigation criticizing his treatment inside Aurora's privately-operated detention center.

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Local ICE leader defends office’s work amid protests

Last Updated by Brittany Freeman on

Local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) leadership are pushing back against months of protest and criticism aimed at the privately-operated immigration detention center in Aurora, opening the doors to the often-secretive facility and vowing to answer questions from the community.

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Teen headed to tour college campus detained by ICE for 71 days

Last Updated by Brittany Freeman on

An 18-year-old Colorado honors student was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) just days before she was set to begin her freshman year of college.

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Watch extended video of protest, American flag removal at Aurora immigration detention center

Last Updated by Brittany Freeman, Isaias Medina on

Simultaneous protests at the immigration detention facility in Aurora last Friday drew national headlines after protesters from the smaller group crossed makeshift barriers, removed the American flag, and raised the Mexican flag and anti-police flags outside the facility’s entrance.

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ICE review of immigration detainee's death finds medical care deficiencies at Aurora facility

Last Updated by Brittany Freeman on

Medical staff at the privately-operated immigration detention center in Aurora failed to seek emergency care for a detainee who later died, a report obtained by Rocky Mountain PBS shows.

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Insight with John Ferrugia is in-depth, independent and incisive. John and a team of investigative journalists present thoroughly researched stories of significance to Colorado.