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Homeland Security

File a Civil Rights Complaint

What You Need To Know

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) reviews and assesses information on abuses of civil rights, civil liberties, and profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion, by employees and officials of DHS.

The following types of complaints may be reviewed and assessed:

  • Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, or disability
  • Violation of rights when an individual is the subject of immigration enforcement or while in immigration detention
  • Discrimination or inappropriate questioning of individuals related to entry into the United States
  • Violation of right to due process, such as  the right to timely notice of charges or access to lawyer
  • Violation of the confidentiality requirements under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Physical or any other type of abuse
  • Other civil rights, civil liberties, or human rights violations related to a DHS program or activity

Start Here

To File Your Complaint

  1. Download this complaint form (PDF, 7 pages - 212 KB) Complaint forms are available in many languages.
  2. Include the following information in your complaint or written description:
    • Contact information
    • Written description of the specific circumstances
    • Relevant documents
    • Summary of other steps taken, if any, to resolve this complaint
    • Complaints filed on behalf of a another person
  3. A detailed written description of the pertinent events can also be emailed to crcl@dhs.gov.
  4. E-mail your completed form to crcl@dhs.gov
  5. The Civil Rights Complaint flowchart details what happens to your complaint once it is sent to DHS.

Alternative Complaint Channels

The fastest method to submit your complaint is via E-mail at crcl@dhs.gov.  However, alternative channels are available.  You can also contact CRCL to file your complaint by telephone, postal mail or by sending a package.

  • U.S. Postal Mail: (this method can take up to 20 business days)
    Department of Homeland Security
    Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
    Review and Compliance
    245 Murray Lane, SW
    Building 410, Mail Stop #0190
    Washington, D.C. 20528
  • Package/Overnight Delivery: Please contact CRCL for information on sending a package.
  • Telephone:
    • Local: 202-401-1474
    • Toll Free: 1-866-644-8360
    • Local TTY: 202-401-0470
    • Toll Free TTY: 1-866-644-8361

Tips

If your complaint would be more appropriately handled by a different federal office, CRCL will refer it to that office. In order to investigate your complaint, CRCL will disclose the information regarding your complaint to other appropriate Department of Homeland Security offices, including the Office of the Inspector General.

CRCL may also disclose certain information from your complaint if we are required by law to do so or if there is no privacy impact. For example, CRCL sends reports to Congress every three months about complaints submitted by the public. Those reports describe the types of complaints handled by CRCL, and do not include personal information. Read past CRCL reports.

Last Published Date: July 24, 2012
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