Attorneys filed whistleblower statements with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights claiming that CBP and Border Patrol leadership participated in a massive cover-up of the 2010 killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, an unarmed and detained migrant.
No More Deaths and Coalición de Derechos Humanos, two Arizona-based humanitarian groups, released an extensive report condemning Border Patrol for its emergency response efforts on the border. The report details negligence, hostility, and outright discrimination on the part of Border Patrol over the past 20 years and recommends the end of the agency’s predominant role in search and rescue.
A migrant attempting to cross the border into Texas near the Hidalgo port of entry was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent who was allegedly trying to arrest him, according to CBP. The case is under investigation by CBP, the FBI, and the Department of Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
- Department of Homeland Security employees were told to report colleagues they suspected of sharing sensitive internal information, along with those who requested information that fell out of their day-to-day duties, according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott released a joint statement denying claims that Border Patrol agents intentionally an undocumented mother from her newly born born child and claiming that “these agents also did everything in their control to keep them together despite the difficult circumstances and health restrictions related to the pandemic.”
- Documents recently obtained through FOIA request shed light on new details about the 2017 raid and arrests at a No More Deaths aid station near Arivaca, Arizona. The documents include an email indicating the involvement of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, in the incident.
- Chief patrol agent in the Big Bend sector Matthew Hudak becomes chief in the Laredo sector upon the retirement of Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez. The Laredo, Texas, sector is characterized by constant apprehensions and rescues of migrants traversing the expansive mountainous areas in the region.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states that CBP violated the purpose statute by listing goods and services in their supplemental FY 2019 appropriations that were not made available, including “consumables and medical care” and “establishing and operating migrant care and processing facilities.” The funding was instead used to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment, and other enforcement-related expenditures. GOA directs CBP to either obligate the account to its appropriate purpose or report a violation of the Antideficiency Act as required by law.
- San Diego sector CBP agents pose atop a vigil to George Floyd in a now-deleted tweet by San Diego Border Patrol Sector Chief Aaron Meitke. The photo raises questions about how exactly CBP is assisting local law enforcement during protests.
- U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) lead a letter signed by 97 congressional colleagues demanding answers on CBP and ICE’s involvement in the ongoing protests against police brutality and the reported assistance ICE and CBP are providing law enforcement.
- Voice of San Diego reports on increasing immigration checkpoints in rural northeastern San Diego, California. It focuses on the racial profiling and improper treatment of people by CBP agents.
- The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) publishes a report on enhancing DHS oversight and accountability, noting the disproportionate growth of CBP and ICE in the 21st century. CNAS provides recommendations to improve oversight in the future, mostly through congressional action.
- In San Diego, Border Patrol agents revoke the SENTRI pass used by daily cross-border commuter Robert Bianchi when he refused to remove his mask. Bianchi states that the agents were not wearing masks and were not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
- The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the federal government cannot be held liable for the actions of CBP agent Esteban Manzanares, who abused, sexually assaulted, and buried alive three Honduran migrants who had crossed into Texas from Mexico in 2014. According to the court, Manzanares was not acting within his official CBP agent capacity when he assaulted the trio.
- Gilmer Barrios, a citizen of Guatemala with an open case in U.S. immigration court and no prior deportation order, was stopped at a CBP checkpoint near San Diego, California, and rapidly deported to Tijuana on March 23. On April 17, Barrios has finally secured passage back to the United States after intervention from the Guatemalan consul general in Los Angeles, California.
- Detainees in the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, in order to receive a mask, were required to sign a contract absolving CoreCivic – the private company that runs the detention center – of responsibility if they fell ill. Twelve ICE detainees there have tested positive. Upon refusal of the contract, detainees reported being threatened with pepper spray.
- U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) leads a letter to DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari demanding the investigation of an apprehended pregnant woman’s unaided birth at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station in California. This comes a day after the ACLU released the complaint filed on the woman’s behalf, citing CBP agents’ mistreatment of pregnant detainees in several other instances.
- The National Treasury Employees Union national President Anthony Reardon writes a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan criticizing CBP’s announcement that leave-with-pay schedules for agents established to promote their individual health during the coronavirus pandemic were immediately canceled. Reardon remarks that it is “crushing [morale] at a time when CBP can least afford it.”
- Five Border Patrol agents working in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California tell the Washington Examiner that the agency has not briefed its Border Patrol agents on how to protect themselves from the coronavirus beyond basic personal protective equipment. CBP agents arrest tens of thousands of people at the border every month.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a review of issues related to the processing of family units, makes eight recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and one to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Among them, CBP should implement controls to ensure that agents accurately record family unit separations, that ICE systematically tracks the family units it separates, and that DHS and HHS collaborate about information sharing regarding unaccompanied children.