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  5. Office of Immigration Detention Ombudsman

The Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman

Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman Logo

The Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman (OIDO) is an independent office within the Department of Homeland Security. OIDO is NOT a part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is NOT a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). OIDO is an office within oversight entities and was established by Congress (Sec. 106 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act).

The Office will:

  • assist individuals with complaints about the potential violation of immigration detention standards or misconduct by DHS (or contract) personnel;
  • provide independent oversight of immigration detention facilities, including conducting announced and unannounced inspections, and reviewing contract terms for immigration detention facilities and services; and
  • serve as an independent office to review and resolve problems stemming from the same.

To request assistance from OIDO, please review our case assistance webpage. Then, access the OIDO Case Intake Form (DHS Form 405).

Box 1: Mission - OIDO independently examines immigration detention to promote and support safe and human conditions.
Box 2: Vision - OIDO is recognized as an objective, credible resource for those impacted by immigration detention, creating a more effective and human system.

A Message from OIDO Acting Ombudsman David Gersten

David Gersten serves as the Acting Immigration Detention Ombudsman at the Department of Homeland Security.

OIDO Organizational Chart

OIDO Divisions:

The Case Management Division independently and impartially reviews cases submitted by, or on behalf of individuals who are or were in immigration detention. We aim to objectively mediate and resolve issues at the lowest level possible.

The Case Management Division has employees throughout the United States to assist with immigration detention concerns. We are focused on providing a persistent presence at DHS detention facilities to engage with detainees and staff.

  • OIDO Case Management Division operates independent from control, limitation, or interference imposed by any other official or entity.
  • OIDO Case Management Division approaches each case objectively, guided by facts, law, and applicable regulations, and we will consider the legitimate concerns and interests of all individuals affected by matters within our purview.
  • OIDO is committed to making its services available to all individuals with legitimate concerns regarding immigration detention.

The External Relations Division engages directly with stakeholders to build trust with and provide information to the public with respect to the Office’s mission and activities. Through communication and connection, the division also gains awareness and solicits information about stakeholder concerns as they relate to immigration detention, working with other OIDO divisions to determine the appropriate method of resolution.

To contact the External Relations Division, please email us at: OIDO_Outreach@hq.dhs.gov.

To subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, click here.

The Detention Oversight Division ensures safe and humane conditions exist in immigration detention through independent, objective, and credible inspection and analysis of ICE and CBP facilities throughout the United States, which result in reasonable and realistic recommendations. Its inspections include review to determine whether a facility has taken corrective action to resolve violations or concerns identified during another oversight office’s prior inspection, audit, or investigation.

Detention Oversight staff are currently located in Washington, D.C.; Newark, New Jersey; Atlanta, Georgia; and Phoenix, Arizona.

The Policy and Standards Division drives change across DHS by proposing solutions to improve the care of immigration detainees. Policy and Standards analyzes data collected from other OIDO divisions and DHS Components as well as various external sources to identify systemic trends and opportunities for improving detention standards, strengthening facility contractual obligations, and highlighting best practices. Its analyses result in systemic recommendations, training, technical assistance, and consultations, as appropriate, to better immigration detention conditions.

Policy and Standards:

  • prioritizes issues that affect detainees’ life, safety, rights, and wellbeing;
  • employs an evidence-based approach; and
  • examines the pervasiveness and frequency of incidents.

Members of the public who are concerned about specific issues generally impacting persons throughout the immigration detention system are invited to contact us at: OIDOPolicy@hq.dhs.gov.

The Operations and Resource Management Division is the primary focal point for office operations within OIDO.  The Operations and Resource Management Division is responsible for coordinating, managing, and communicating to OIDO staff the status of a variety of operational projects and tasks aimed to deliver outcomes and benefits that align to the overall strategic mission and vision of OIDO.  The Operations and Resource Management Division oversees all administrative, financial, contract, and human resource functions of the Office.

To keep up with current OIDO job openings, visit USAJOBS.

Last Updated: 12/01/2022
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