Organizational Culture Events where the accountability status is “No further action”

July 30, 2021

“A Honduran woman who has been in the United States since 2018 was  visiting a friend when they noticed a CBP checkpoint on the way. Fearing what may  come, she got out of the car on the roadside to avoid the checkpoint because of her  immigration status. She called her husband to pick her up, but he refused to come at  first, fearing that he would be mistaken for a smuggler. Eventually, he came to get  her, but they got lost in the desert and in the early hours of the morning called 911  to rescue them. The Pima County Sheriff’s officer then detained her. CBP arrived at  the scene, and she was handed over to them. She was not crossing the border. The  CBP officers then forced her to sign a document and put her in a vehicle, telling her  she was going to expelled under Title 42. She was expelled in Nogales.”

Source:

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: No further action

June 17, 2021

“Former LAPD officer and U.S. veteran, Janine Bouey, filed a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for her inhumane treatment at the border. This is the first step in a lawsuit against DHS. Janine, who is a Black woman, was sexually assaulted by agents at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. In this lawsuit, she calls for DHS and CBP to take responsibility for their actions and end the practice of assault on women, including Black women. One year ago today, Janine was returning from her dentist and crossed the U.S. border at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. She was singled out by a CBP officer while waiting in line. She was the only Black woman to be pulled from the line for questioning. The officer asked for Janine’s home address even though he was in possession of her license. The officer suggested that Janine might want his home address. The officer proceeded to escort her to a nearby building where she was eventually assaulted. Janine’s experience and training as a law enforcement officer informed her understanding that the actions taken by the CBP officers were well out of bounds of normal protocol. Janine filed a complaint with DHS about the officer’s actions shortly after the incident. To her knowledge, no disciplinary action was taken and the officers involved in the incident remain at work.”

Source: “Abuse, Assault and Impunity at Dhs Must Stop: Former Lapd Officer Subjected to Sexual Assault by Dhs Sues the Agency” (Alliance San Diego, June 17, 2021 <https://www.alliancesd.org/abuse_assault_and_impunity_at_dhs_must_stop_former_lapd_officer_subjected_to_sexual_assault_by_dhs_sues_the_agency?fbclid=IwAR1RvOCy1klavU7_CDsDXw3z-XHLfks8b0o5gtJTXlDNSHXkdlHNowyZCzQ>.

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Use of Force

Accountability Status: No further action, Shared with DHS OIG

April 25, 2021

“A Guatemalan woman and her two-year-old son were detained shortly after entering the United States. They were apprehended by CBP in the desert and transported to a facility. They were processed but never asked why she came or if she feared going back. After that, she was transported to another facility in a crowded, hot, suffocating bus with other migrants. The migrants were finding it hard to breathe, but the bus was travelling at high speed and agents could not hear them knocking for help. After 30 minutes, they got the agents’ attention, and the agents turned on the air. Once they arrived at the next facility, they were held in a very cold room. Some of the women in the facility were called into an office to be interviewed privately. This woman was not. Agents never inquired why she had come to the United States. She didn’t realize she was being expelled until she was already travelling in CBP transport to the border. She and her son were expelled the same day to Mexico and given no information as to why they were being expelled. She had decided to leave Guatemala because of threats from an organized crime group that had also physically beat her.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

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

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

April 3, 2021

“A Guatemalan man entered the United States and was detained by  Border Patrol. He fled extortion and threats in Guatemala. On his way to the United  States, he was kidnapped in Mexico and held against his will for two weeks. His  kidnappers tortured him. They burned him with hot water and forced him to take  drugs. He managed to flee his kidnappers to continue to the U.S. In the U.S., he and  two friends encountered one Border Patrol agent. The agent first handcuffed the  other two to each other with chains. The agent then kicked the Guatemalan man  who made this complaint in the left ankle, which caused him to collapse. The agent  picked the man up by his shoulder and put him in the back of the truck. The agent  expelled the man to Nogales, Sonora despite the injuries the agent had inflicted and the fact that he was kidnapped in Mexico. He was never given an opportunity to  speak to anyone else about his fear of return.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation, Denial of Asylum, Use of Force

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, No further action

February 17, 2021

“A Guatemalan family (husband, wife and 7-month-old son) entered the United States and were detained. The family left Guatemala after the man’s brother was murdered by an organized crime group. The family was taken to an office near Sasabe, where they were never asked why they fled Guatemala or asked for the documents they had with them as proof of persecution. They were later taken to Tucson, and they were expelled the following day to Nogales, Sonora in the early morning.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

February 1, 2021

“A Guatemalan woman with her two-year-old child, who is fleeing violence, has twice attempted to seek asylum in the United States and been turned away both times without being able to make her case for asylum. The woman has photo evidence of violence that she has faced in Guatemala. She requested asylum the first time she crossed the border, but the agents only listened to the unaccompanied minors in the facility and did not speak to the adults or ask questions. She tried showing agents her documentation to no avail.

“The second time, she and her daughter were taken to two different border facilities, and each time she was denied the opportunity to speak. She said that a man in a black uniform attempted to speak to them but was asked not to by male agents in green uniforms. She was expelled to Nogales, Sonora.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson, Yuma

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

January 31, 2021

“A Honduran woman fled domestic abuse from a partner in Honduras who is connected to organized crime. She filed a police report in Honduras and he threatened her even more. While traveling through Mexico, she feared being forced into prostitution to survive. She was able to avoid this. On the way to the United States, she was kidnapped by the cartel and ransomed for one thousand dollars. When a friend was able to pay the ransom, the cartel dropped her and 38 others off in the desert. Once she entered the United States through the desert she was detained by Border Patrol. At that time, she told the Border Patrol agent she wanted a lawyer to claim asylum. The agent said she will be able to ask for one at the next facility. At the next facility she asked again and said she needed help to file for protection. The agent she spoke to at that facility knew Spanish. This agent said he couldn’t do anything about it and that she could tell someone in the next facility she will be transferred to. Then she was taken to the Tucson Border Patrol station where she told another agent she wanted a lawyer to file for asylum. The agent said he was not going to violate immigration law for her or anyone else. He said she did not have rights because she arrived illegally. She tried to tell her story of violence and persecution to several other agents, but the first one didn’t allow her to speak to anyone else and just shouted at her to get on the bus. She was expelled to Nogales, Sonora. She fears that Mexico is also unsafe for her since it is where the cartel who kidnapped her operates. While in Mexico, she has been “approached by men in a dark vehicle” and she worries that she will be attacked.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum, Lying or Deliberate Misleading

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

January 29, 2021

“A Guatemalan man entered the United States near Sasabe, Sonora and  walked for four hours before being met by Border Patrol who were on motorcycles.  At first the man started to run, but when the official got closer, he stopped and put  his hands up. The agent then grabbed him and shoved him to the ground, causing  pain to his shoulder. He was then moved to Tucson. He was not given any medical  attention for his shoulder. He was instead expelled to Nogales, while he was still  experiencing pain.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Denial of Medical Care, Use of Force

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, No further action

January 28, 2021

“A Guatemalan man crossed into the United States and was detained in  the desert. The border patrol agents who arrested them were driving a four wheeler. They drove really fast, right towards the immigrants. The immigrants had  to jump out of the way to avoid being run over. The Guatemalan man fell over when  he jumped out of the way. Despite not resisting arrest, an agent put his hand around  the migrant’s neck and pulled him to handcuff him. The agents were laughing as they handcuffed him. Despite cold temperatures, he was made to remove his outerwear and walk only in a t-shirt. He was forced to walk 20 minutes handcuffed.  Afterwards, he was transported to Tucson and promptly expelled.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation, Use of Force

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, No further action

January 17, 2021

“A Venezuelan man entered the United States and was detained by Border Patrol. He had narrowly escaped criminals who tried to pull him back to Mexico. They managed to take his backpack, which had his phone and other belongings. It was soon after this that he was detained. He was taken to Ajo Station, where he was forced to sign several documents, most of which were in English, a language he does not speak. He fled Venezuela because of persecution he experienced. When he told the agents he was afraid to return to Venezuela, they asked him which was more dangerous: Mexico or Venezuela. He told them he thought both were dangerous. The following day he was forced to sign papers and said he was being expelled under MPP; he was also told he would be given an opportunity to speak with an immigration official in Tucson the following day. This was a lie; he was never given this opportunity. He was transported to Tucson and expelled to Nogales, Sonora two days later.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum, Lying or Deliberate Misleading

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

January 12, 2021

On January 12, 2021, Rafael Mercado Arechiga reported to the Freedom for Immigrants National Hotline that he was not receiving adequate mental health care or medication for pain. Mr. Mercado Arechiga reported that Officer Williams, a CCA officer, has been joining psychiatric appointments and recommending treatment and medication changes but admits that she is not a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. Since Core Civic took over, Mr. Mercado Arechiga has only been given Tylenol instead of Gabapentin and has been switched to a few different PTSD medications that have not been working for him. Mr. Mercado Arechiga reported that his conditions have been getting worse since switching medications and that Tylenol is not enough for the amount of pain he feels. Mr. Mercado Arechiga also reported that he’s been in solitary for a year. He remains in a solitary cell for 22 hours a day and is not able to exercise or socialize. 

Source: Freedom for Immigrants, “CRCL Complaint Erik Mercado Arechiga” January 2021. <https://share.mayfirst.org/s/F2soW64cQDRr6fe?dir=undefined&path=%2F&openfile=8425396>

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Medical Care

Accountability Status: No further action

January 11, 2021

On January 11, 2021, Erik Mercado Arechiga reported to the Freedom for Immigrants National Hotline that the detention facility is supposed to pay a detained worker to clean the showers in the unit but they are leaving that position unfilled. The showers are shared with individuals who have COVID-19 and those who do not. The showers are extremely filthy; people don’t even want to go in them to shower. Mr. Mercado Arechiga reported that he walked into the showers and couldn’t even stomach the filth, so he washed himself in a sink.

Source: Freedom for Immigrants, “CRCL Complaint Erik Mercado Arechiga”, January 2021. <https://share.mayfirst.org/s/F2soW64cQDRr6fe?dir=undefined&path=%2F&openfile=8425396>

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Disregard to Public Health

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, No further action

November 2, 2020

“A Guatemalan woman and her one-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son entered the United States and were detained by CBP. At Tucson station, when they were being transferred, the Guatemalan woman asked where she was being taken; the CBP agent replied she did not know, but that they might take the woman’s fear declaration at the next station. The woman was taken to Nogales. The woman asked an agent to take her fear declaration, but the agent said CBP doesn’t do that in Nogales. Then the woman asked another agent who gave her food to take her fear declaration. That CBP agent didn’t speak Spanish and asked another agent to come over to interpret. She told them that a family member had been killed in Guatemala and that she also feared returning to Mexico as she had been robbed there. The agents told her that her case doesn’t matter since there are gangs in the U.S. too. The woman and her children were expelled to Mexico soon after.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson, Tucson Field Office

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

October 22, 2020

“A Guatemalan man, his wife and two children fled Guatemala and were detained by CBP. They were taken to two facilities in quick succession. At the second facility they were processed. While they were processed, an agent with a tattoo said that the US was not accepting asylum seekers at this time, and it was dangerous to cross in the desert. The Guatemalan man said he recognized this agent as someone they had encountered before in the desert. But there, the agent had been dressed in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle; in the office he was wearing a uniform. The Guatemalan man said he recognized him by his tattoo. At no time while they were in CBP custody were they able to talk about their fears of return to Guatemala or ask for asylum. They were all expelled to Mexico the same day they entered.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Due Process Denied, August 2021. <https://networklobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/KINO-NETWORK-CBP-Abuses-consolidated.pdf>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR, No further action

October 5, 2020

In early October, for the second time in less than three months, Border Patrol agents raided a No More Deaths humanitarian aid camp about 11 miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border. After being detained with her fellow volunteers, Paige Corich-Kleim watched as agents descended into the camp with military-style vehicles and weapons to terrorize and eventually detain 12 migrants seeking food, water, and medical aid at the camp. Despite past victories in court establishing that humanitarian aid is not a crime and that No More Deaths should be able to operate freely without Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intimidation, its camps and the people seeking lifesaving assistance there continue to be threatened.

Source: The Nation, “The Border Patrol Is Cracking Down on Humanitarian Aid” <https://www.thenation.com/article/society/no-more-deaths-arizona/>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Food or Water, Denial of Medical Care, Use of Force

Accountability Status: No further action

April 9, 2020

A Honduran woman gave birth to her baby while standing up, holding on to the side of a trash can in a Border Patrol station, she and her family told the American Civil Liberties Union. She was still wearing her pants. They were in the midst of being processed by agents at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station near San Diego, and she had repeatedly asked the agents for help, telling them how much pain she was in. Instead, she was repeatedly told to sit down and wait to be processed, she said. After about 30 minutes, her husband could hear the baby crying through the fabric of her pants. He lowered them and saw his baby’s head. Their daughters, ages 2 and 12, looked on.

The dramatic birth was detailed in a complaint provided to BuzzFeed News and filed Wednesday by the ACLU and Jewish Family Service of San Diego with the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General. The complaint, based on interviews with the family and a review of the woman’s medical records, accuses the Border Patrol agents involved of abuse, demanding the inspector general conduct an investigation.

Source: Buzzfeed News, “A Woman Gave Birth in a Border Patrol Station Still Wearing Her Pants. Now the Aclu Is Accusing the Agency of Abuse.” April 2020 <https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emaoconnor/pregnant-woman-birth-border-patrol-aclu-complaint>.

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, CBP

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Conditions in Custody, Denial of Medical Care

Accountability Status: No further action, Shared with DHS OIG

January 29, 2020

On January 29, an Ecuadorian man was killed in a car crash near downtown El Paso, Texas, only yards from the U.S.-Mexico border. An Ecuadorian woman was gravely hurt and weeks later is just emerging from a coma. She’s missing part of her skull and half of her body appears to be paralyzed. Stuck in a hospital thousands of miles from her kin, she has had few visitors, but one has been a Border Patrol agent who feels grief-stricken by the accident and believes the Border Patrol played a major role in causing it. The agent recently had an emotional meeting with a family member of the severely injured woman and offered to testify if the family brings a lawsuit.

Police reports say the crash was caused by a drunk driver who picked up the Ecuadorians after they crossed into the U.S. illegally. The driver is said to have been a smuggler who was speeding to evade the Border Patrol, and crashed because he was driving too fast. But the agent says that the chase was improper. It occurred near downtown El Paso on West Paisano Drive, on a section of road so prone to crashes that local law enforcement officers call it a “deadly curve.”

A police report states that the car had rounded a curve on Paisano — the “deadly curve” — at high speed, and the vehicle jumped a median, collided with a tree and a light post, and rolled over. The driver, Daniel Humberto Castillo, fled but was quickly caught. Inside the wreck were Castillo’s passengers, all Ecuadorians. One, 30-year-old Edwin Leonardo Solis, died at the scene. Of the survivors, Jessica Alexandra Chirau, 27, sustained bruises and sprains. Juan Carlos Chirau, 36, had several fractured vertebrae. Marcela Naomi Palacios, 28, sustained the worst injuries. In addition to fractures of her elbow, spine, and clavicle, she had a lacerated spleen, air and fluid in her lungs, a brain bleed, and brain swelling. She was near death and in a coma. She underwent surgeries at a local hospital and was placed in intensive care. She remains at the hospital.

Source: The Intercept, “BORDER PATROL AGENT SPEAKS OUT ABOUT A HIGH-SPEED CHASE THAT ENDED IN AN IMMIGRANT’S DEATH” January 2020. <https://theintercept.com/2020/02/28/border-patrol-el-paso-texas-car-chase/>

Sector(s): El Paso

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Use of Force

Accountability Status: No further action