Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Check Out Border Fact Check for Border Truth

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Next time you find yourself arguing over border politics in the lunchroom with that coworker who swears they saw a headless body near Gates Pass, turn to the Washington Office on Latin America's Border Fact Check.

WOLA's border project monitors border issues and the impact of security policies on undocumented immigrants. What that translates into is when someone like Sheriff Joe Arpaio flaps his lips about DREAMERS, the Border Fact Check counters with something you don't hear much — the truth.

Their latest post took a look at the allegations made in the PBS Need to Know report, Crossing the Line, on abuses undocumented immigrants experience from some U.S. Border Patrol agents:

Are migrants routinely abused by Customs and Border Protection agents?

“We do not tolerate abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

— CBP spokeswoman Jenny Burke

The Facts:

As is highlighted in PBS’ new Need to Know report “Crossing the Line”, allegations of abuses by Border Patrol agents are widespread, and those responsible are seldom investigated and sanctioned. Border groups, human rights organizations and regional and international human rights bodies have documented multiple human rights violations committed by Border Patrol agents against migrants during the detention and deportation process.

From fall 2008 to spring 2011 the Arizona-based organization No More Deaths interviewed almost 13,000 migrants who had been in Border Patrol custody, in the Arizona border towns of Naco, Nogales, and Agua Prieta. Their report, A Culture of Cruelty, documents an alarming pattern of abuses including denial of or insufficient water and food; failure to provide medical treatment; verbal, physical and psychological abuse; separation of family members and dangerous repatriation practices.

In May 2012, the ACLU Southern Border Affiliates sent a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and to the Inspector General of DHS regarding abuses by agents of the CBP Office of Field Operations, which staffs official border ports of entry. The memo details incidents of “excessive force; unwarranted, invasive and humiliating personal searches; unjustified and repeated detentions based on misidentification; and the use of coercion to force individuals to surrender their legal rights, citizenship documents, and property.”

Between 2010 and 2011 excessive use of force by Border Patrol and Field Operations agents has led to the death of six Mexican citizens. This includes the May 2010 death of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas, who died after being beaten and then shocked by a Taser by a group of CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego. His case is featured in part 1 of the Crossing the Line report.

While the Border Patrol is quick to investigate and sanction agents allegedly involved in drug trafficking, human smuggling or other activities, they rarely address and investigate abuses against migrants. At a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, No More Deaths affirmed that in spite of raising their concerns with Customs and Border Protection for several years, “the agency has taken the position that such abuses simply do not occur.” Other organizations with whom WOLA spoke during our research in border zones have also asserted that at best, even serious incidents such as the shootings of migrants result in administrative, not criminal, investigations and sanctions.

In February, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher stated during a Congressional hearing that his agency takes allegations of abuse seriously. This statement and increased NGO dialogue with the CBP are certainly steps in the right direction given the magnitude of the problem.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Mari Herreras

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
PiYo Strength Class

PiYo Strength Class @ Floor Polish

Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Summer Safari Nights

Summer Safari Friday Nights 2018 Date: Every Friday until August 3, 2018 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm… More

@ Reid Park Zoo Fri., May 18, 6-8 p.m., Fri., May 25, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 1, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 8, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 15, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 22, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 29, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 6, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 13, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 20, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 27, 6-8 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 3, 6-8 p.m. 3400 E Zoo Court

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Claytoon of the Day: This is MAGA (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Gov Race: Ken Bennett Talks Education, Gun Safety and Balancing the Budget (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. New Ballot Initiative Promises Cheaper Electricity Bills and Cleaner Air (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Four Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, June 20 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Sally Hemings, 1773-2018: Hemingses' Lives Matter (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation