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Make a Civil Rights Complaint

If you believe your rights or the rights of someone else have been violated by DHS, you can file a civil rights complaint with DHS's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL).

CRCL reviews and investigates allegations of civil rights and civil liberties violations involving DHS policies, activities, and personnel.  CRCL's jurisdiction includes allegations of racial profiling, implicit bias, and other civil liberties violations arising from state and local law enforcement involvement in federal immigration enforcement and detention.

There are three ways to submit your complaint:

  • 1. Submit Your Complaint Online

    You can use the online portal to submit your complaint directly to CRCL. You will receive a confirmation number and your complaint report will be immediately available for CRCL staff to review.  

  • 2. Submit a Complaint Using the Fillable PDF Form

    If you do not want to file your complaint directly using CRCL's online portal, you can download and complete the fillable Adobe PDF complaint form and then email, fax, or mail your completed form to CRCL.

  • 3. Submit a Complaint by Email, Fax, Phone, or Postal Mail

    If you do not want to submit a complaint to CRCL using the optional online portal or PDF fillable form, you can provide CRCL a detailed description of your complaint via email, fax, or postal mail. 

The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) reviews and investigates civil rights and civil liberties allegations submitted by the public regarding U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies, activities, and personnel. Under 6 U.S.C. § 345 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000ee-1, CRCL receives allegations involving a range of alleged civil rights and civil liberties abuses, such as:

  • Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability;
  • Violation of rights while in immigration detention or as a subject of immigration enforcement;
  • Discrimination or inappropriate questioning related to entry into the United States;
  • Violation of due process rights, such as the right to timely notice of charges or access to a lawyer;
  • Violation of confidentiality provisions of the Violence Against Women Act;
  • Physical abuse or any other type of abuse;
  • Denial of meaningful access to DHS or DHS-supported programs, activities, or services due to limited English proficiency; and
  • Any other civil rights, civil liberties, or human rights violation related to a Department program or activity, including allegations of discrimination by an organization or program that receives financial assistance from DHS.

CRCL also reviews and investigates the following:

Read our Privacy Act Statement, review a flowchart of our complaints process, and learn more about accessible ICT.

  • Review a Flowchart of CRCL's Complaint Process

    CRCL receives an allegation of wrongdoing from an individual, organization, DHS Component, DHS TRIP, or other government agency and determines how to proceed with the allegation.  

  • What are the Outcomes of CRCL's Investigations?

    Scales of Justice

    CRCL does not provide individuals with legal rights or remedies. CRCL uses information from complaints to find and address problems in DHS policy and its implementation. If you believe your rights or those of someone you know have been violated, you may wish to consult an attorney. 

  • Transparency in Civil Rights Investigations

    CRCL strives to maintain transparency in its civil rights investigations processes and developed an online collection of memos and other documents related to CRCL investigations that are available to the public.

If you would like to make a complaint about employment discrimination, please see Filing an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint.

EEO complaints are addressed by the CRCL's Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Division.

Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Compliance Branch, Mail Stop #0190
2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20528-0190

Phone: | 1-866-644-8360 (toll free)
TTY: Dial 711 for Telecommunication Relay Services
E-mail: CRCLCompliance@hq.dhs.gov

In addition to the CRCL complaint process, DHS has many other ways for the public to provide feedback and submit complaints to the agency about DHS employees or programs, immigration filings, travel issues, DHS employee misconduct, or other types of concerns.

Last Updated: 05/17/2024
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