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01/24/2014 03:30 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2014

Human Rights Watch Blasts U.S. Immigration ‘Abuses,' Again

ADELANTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from his 'segregation cell' back into the general populatio
ADELANTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from his 'segregation cell' back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. Most detainees in segregation cells are sent there for fighting with other immigrants, according to guards. The facility, the largest and newest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detention center in California, houses an average of 1,100 immigrants in custody pending a decision in their immigration cases or awaiting deportation. The average stay for a detainee is 29 days. The facility is managed by the private GEO Group. ICE detains an average of 33,000 undocumented immigrants in more than 400 facilities nationwide. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The failure of Congress and the White House to address the country’s immigration problems drew fire from a prominent human rights watchdog this week -- again.

Human Rights Watch criticized the U.S. government in its “World Report 2014,” released Tuesday, for what it called “abuses” related to the incarceration and deportation of undocumented immigrants. The organization echoed similar faults it found with U.S. immigration policy in world reports from past years.

The authors criticize the U.S. government’s human rights record, calling it “marred by abuses related to criminal justice immigration, national security and drug policy.” The report names immigrants and ethnic minorities as among the “most vulnerable members” of U.S. society.

The report also notes that U.S. detention centers now hold approximately 400,000 undocumented immigrants each year, with hundreds in solitary confinement.

“Many of those prosecuted have minor or no criminal history and have substantial ties to the U.S. such as U.S. citizen family members they were seeking to rejoin when arrested,” the report says.

“The federal government has portrayed these programs as focused on dangerous criminals, but most immigrants deported through Secure Communities are non-criminal or lower level offenders,” the report says. “These programs also exacerbate distrust of police in immigrant communities.”

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