Organizational Culture Events

Examples of abuses or other behaviors indicating need for reform at U.S. border and migration institutions

March 28, 2021

“On March 10, 2021, an adult male in United States Border Patrol custody in Eagle Pass, TX, began to exhibit signs of medical distress. Agents called for Emergency Medical Services and rendered aid. Shortly after, the man passed away. The event is being investigated by the Eagle Pass, Texas Police Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility.”

Age: Unknown
Cause of Death: Unknown (Medical)
Incident Date: March 28, 2021
Incident Location: Eagle Pass, TX

Source: Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), “Fatal Encounters with CBP Since 2010,” <

Sector(s): Del Rio

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Fatal Encounter

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with OPR

March 23, 2021

“A Mexican man entered the United States when individuals associated with organized crime demanded he carry a backpack full of drugs into the United States and threatened him with a razor. When he refused, they beat him. Once the Mexican man regained consciousness, he turned himself in to Border Patrol. He told agents what happened to him, where Border Patrol could find the drugs and the men who assaulted him who belonged to a criminal gang. Still, the agents kept the man in the vehicle the whole day, picking up other immigrants and giving him only water to drink. Once they came to the CBP facility and he was processed, he repeated what had happened to him. The CBP agent there laughed and asked if he wanted to file a police report. When he said yes, the agent said it would take too long. He was never given an opportunity to express his fears about returning to Mexico or give information about the crime that had been committed against him. He was never given medical attention while in CBP custody and was left alone in a cell for long stretches of time despite his weakened state. He was soon expelled back to Mexico.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Asylum, Denial of Food or Water

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, Shared with DHS OIG

March 7, 2021

Description: A Cuban man and his wife crossed into the United States and were  detained. He was searched and their documents were confiscated. The man was  separated from his wife, even though his wife told the agents they were together.  He was transferred to Campo BP Station in California, and when he was being  transferred he was told he would be reunited with his wife at the detention center.  While in detention, he was not allowed to shower for five days, and the lights were  always kept on. There, a border patrol agent interviewed him in Spanish. The agent  asked him about his relatives but did not ask anything about asylum. The man asked  if he could present his case. The CBP agent said no, as that was for a courtroom with  a lawyer. The man asked why the agent didn’t ask him why he left Cuba, and the  agent still said no. After five days, they transported the man to expel him, very early  in the morning. The man says he was disoriented but once he heard he was being  expelled he said he can’t leave without his wife. He was told his wife would be  joining him soon. This was not true. He was not reunited with his wife and was  expelled to Tijuana, Baja California in the early morning hours. A week later, he tried  to cross again at Yuma as his wife was still in CBP custody. He was then expelled to  Nogales. 

Sector(s): Yuma

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Family Separation, Inappropriate Deportation, Non-Return of Belongings

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

March 4, 2021

“On several occasions, rather than transport migrants to other locations where they can access services, CBP
has simply dropped off migrants in parking lots in Yuma. Since many of these migrants have traveled
distances in the desert, they are often being abandoned with injuries, including a young man who Border
Patrol left alone at a bus station with a recently amputated foot.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “March 4 Update From KBI”, March 2021.

Sector(s): Yuma

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation, Denial of Medical Care

Accountability Status: No steps taken

March 2, 2021

“A young Guatemalan mother arrived at KBI with her 3-year-old daughter this week after Border Patrol
expelled them to Mexico under Title 42. Her daughter suffers from stomach issues, and although the mother
pleaded with a Border Patrol agent to keep her yogurt and medicine, the agent threw it in the trash. They
were detained around 9PM and expelled the next day around 3PM. During those 18 hours, BP only provided
them with a few crackers and juice. The mother said she felt dizzy when they were expelled to Mexico
because they had not eaten. They also suffered cold during the time they were detained because BP agents
confiscated all their sweatshirts and coats. By the time they were expelled, the 3-year-old had soiled her
diaper, but BP agents had confiscated the diapers the mother brought with her. They refused to give her a
diaper despite the fact that the girl’s pants were soaked through. One BP agent repeatedly yelled at
them and said, “I don’t know what you’re doing in this country.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “March 4 Update From KBI”, March 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Abusive Language, Denial of Food or Water, Denial of Medical Care

Accountability Status: