Organizational Culture Events where the accountability status is “Unknown”

October 24, 2021

CNN reports that Texas authorities are forcing migrants onto private property in order to arrest them for trespassing.

[Body-worn camera] video that, Martinez [David Martinez, the Val Verde County Attorney in charge of prosecuting misdemeanors] says, appears to show a Texas state trooper directing the migrants onto the private property before arresting one of them for trespass.
Martinez said he rejected the case.
…Martinez has more. He pulls a file he says contains the cases of 11 other migrants who alleged that law enforcement zip-tied them in pairs, walked them about 20 minutes and made them scale a 10-foot fence. They were later arrested by state troopers for criminal trespassing, documents show.

Source: Rosa Flores, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Anti-Migrant Plan: Many Arrested, Many Detained, Few Prosecuted (CNN, Monday, October 25, 2021) https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/24/us/texas-migrant-trespass-detentions/index.html.

Sector(s): Del Rio

Agency(ies): Texas State Police

Event Type(s): Conditions of Arrest or Apprehension

Accountability Status: Unknown

October 24, 2021

CNN reports about migrants arrested for “trespassing” by Texas state police, then imprisoned for months without being charged or having access to counsel:

The man was held in jail for 52 days before he was charged with the misdemeanor offense of criminal trespass, his attorney says. For 43 of those days — more than six weeks — he had no access to a lawyer, he told CNN. And the man said there were long gaps, sometimes two weeks, when he was not allowed to make any phone call to tell his wife how he was.

…two migrants who talked to CNN last week said they knew several men in their jail pods who had been waiting up to three months to talk to a lawyer.
One said the unrepresented men begged the others to raise their cases.
“‘Ask about us. Tell them we have 90 days, 80 days and we haven’t seen an attorney. We don’t know anything and here we are,’” he says he is told.
CNN raised the concerns with the TIDC [Texas Indigent Defense Commission]. The commission said it then located at least one person arrested in May and held in jail who did not have a lawyer. That person was assigned counsel Thursday night.

Source: Rosa Flores, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Anti-Migrant Plan: Many Arrested, Many Detained, Few Prosecuted (CNN, Monday, October 25, 2021) <https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/24/us/texas-migrant-trespass-detentions/index.html>.

Sector(s): Del Rio

Agency(ies): Texas State Police

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Access to Counsel

Accountability Status: Unknown

October 21, 2021

“In the past two months alone,” Human Rights First reports, “DHS has denied parole requests for many vulnerable asylum seekers, including a Honduran lesbian couple who were raped by Mexican police, a Honduran family with a seven-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, a homeless Haitian asylum seeker living with HIV, and Mexican LGBTQ+ asylum seekers who were sexually assaulted and beaten in Mexico. Even when CBP officers at ports of entry have granted urgent requests for humanitarian parole, this has often come only after complaints to DHS headquarters – and officers have still refused to parole accompanying family members, leading to family separations.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): DHS

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum, Family Separation, Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: No steps taken, Unknown

October 2021

“In October 2021 DHS agents repeatedly told an asylum-seeking Honduran family to “shut up” and refused to answer their questions as they transferred the family by plane from McAllen, Texas, where they had crossed the border to seek asylum, to Arizona for expulsion into Nogales, Mexico. According to Kino Border Initiative, an agent attempted to seize the family’s documents related to their asylum claim.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Rio Grande Valley, Tucson

Agency(ies): DHS

Event Type(s): Abusive Language, Confiscation of Documents, Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Unknown

September 2021

“In September 2021, DHS expelled an asylum-seeking Haitian family to Haiti after holding them for days in a freezing cell without sufficient food. DHS separated the family from an adult brother who had crossed into Del Rio, Texas with them where they had attempted to seek asylum together based on political persecution. The family remains in hiding in Haiti, terrified their persecutors will find them, according to Blaine Bookey from the UC Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Del Rio

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, DHS

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

Accountability Status: Unknown

September 2021

“Belone Mpembele, an asylum seeker from Angola, was expelled to Haiti by the United States due to its failure to provide access to the U.S asylum system or even screen individuals at the border in its rush to expel Haitians in September 2021.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Del Rio

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, DHS

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

Accountability Status: Unknown

Late September 2021

“A Haitian mother expelled in late September 2021 begged U.S. officers to remove her handcuffs to enable her to comfort her crying young daughter on the plane ride, according to Blaine Bookey from UC Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): DHS

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody

Accountability Status: Unknown

September 2021

“In September 2021, at least 12 Haitian asylum seekers who expressed fear of return to Haiti were expelled under Title 42 by U.S. officials without access to the U.S. asylum system or any fear screening, according to their lawyer Mirlande Joachim. DHS withheld information about the whereabouts of Joachim’s clients and told her on multiple occasions that she could not speak with them, at one point instructing her to contact the Haitian consulate to speak her clients, some of whom had fled persecution by Haitian government actors. One Haitian asylum seeker told Joachim that she had informed multiple U.S. government officers in the facility where she was being detained that she was seeking asylum and feared return to Haiti but was completely ignored.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): DHS

Event Type(s): Denial of Access to Counsel, Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Unknown

September 27, 2021

“Karla [not real name], another migrant organizer, described her experience being denied asylum three times. She said, “I went to the Tijuana border looking for help and protection asking immigration for asylum. They rejected me, humiliated me, and denied me asylum. I cried together with my children, pleaded with them and asked for their help to be able to request asylum. When they saw me cry, they told me not to because not even with my tears was I going to convince them and that I better step aside because I was in the way. As I cried for help, they laughed at me and my children. I tried to seek asylum in three different ports of entry along the border and I have always been rejected, humiliated. They threatened to call the Mexican authorities on me who also humiliated us.””

“CBP closed port of entry after denying access to migrant family seeking asylum, accompanied by Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, September 27, 2021) <https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/press-release-cbp-closed-port-of-entry-after-denying-access-to-migrant-family-seeking-asylum-accompanied-by-tucson-bishop-edward-weisenburger/>

Sector(s): Tucson Field Office

Agency(ies): Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Unknown

September 27, 2021

“Laura fled southern Mexico with her two kids, her brother and his family- after her husband was shot by the local mafia. Laura and her family, accompanied by the Bishop, went through the turnstile at the DeConcini port of entry only to be turned away in tears.

“Chelsea Sachau, attorney with the Florence Project, who accompanied the family recounts the event, “The family reasserted their request to be processed and to seek asylum. They asked to speak to someone else [other than the CBP officials], a supervisor, and then the CBP officers entered the building and locked both doors. They tested to make sure that both doors were locked, and then they slowly started lowering the gate to shut down the entire port of entry because this family, accompanied by faith leaders, and a legal observer, asked him for their right to seek asylum.” Laura and her family were forced to step back as the gate lowered onto where they were standing. Sachau continues, “There was no warning given to anyone, neither ourselves or anyone in line who had papers to enter into the US.” The DeConcini port of entry was shut down for about an hour to anyone trying to cross into the U.S.”

“CBP closed port of entry after denying access to migrant family seeking asylum, accompanied by Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, September 27, 2021) <https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/press-release-cbp-closed-port-of-entry-after-denying-access-to-migrant-family-seeking-asylum-accompanied-by-tucson-bishop-edward-weisenburger/>

Sector(s): Tucson Field Office

Agency(ies): Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum

Accountability Status: Unknown

August 2021

“In August 2021, DHS subjected three Nicaraguan political dissidents to a lateral expulsion flight after they sought protection near McAllen, Texas. DHS officers verbally abused them, threatening to release dogs to attack them. The officers woke the men at 1:00 am, handcuffed them, and forced them to stand for more than two hours before the expulsion flight. The officers lied to the men telling them that they would be sent to California and permitted to pursue their asylum cases, but instead expelled them to Tijuana. From there, Mexican immigration officials transported them to Mexico’s southern border and attempted to deport them to Guatemala, but Guatemalan immigration authorities refused to accept them, leaving them stranded in southern Mexico, according to Anaís Catalina, an advocate assisting them.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Rio Grande Valley, San Diego

Agency(ies): DHS

Event Type(s): Abusive Language, Denial of Asylum, Lying or Deliberate Misleading, Threat of Violence

Accountability Status: Unknown

Late August 2021

“DHS continues to carry out some Title 42 expulsions to dangerous Mexican border cities in the middle of the night, when businesses are closed and humanitarian services are unavailable, increasing the risk that expelled individuals will be attacked. For example, Border Patrol agents expelled more than 20 people through the DeConcini port of entry to Nogales, Mexico around 2:00 a.m. in late August 2021, leaving them stranded. Several of those expelled told Kino Border Initiative that when they eventually managed to reach a migrant shelter, they were denied entry because they did not have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, which was impossible to obtain in the middle of the night. With no other options, they were forced to spend the night sleeping on the street.”

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation

Accountability Status: Unknown

August 2021

In August 2021, DHS expelled Cynthia, a 21-year-old pregnant Honduran woman to Mexico, without providing her water or medical attention after she had begged for something to drink and to see a doctor for stomach pain.

Source: Julia Neusner, Kennji Kizuka, “Illegal and Inhumane”: Biden Administration Continues Embrace of Trump Title 42 Policy as Attacks on People Seeking Refuge Mount (New York: Human Rights First, October 21, 2021) <https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/illegal-and-inhumane-biden-administration-continues-embrace-trump-title-42-policy-attacks>.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): DHS

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

Accountability Status: Unknown

April 25, 2021

“A young Mexican man expelled under Title 42 this week reported to KBI that Border Patrol agents left them in downtown Nogales, Sonora around 2:30AM. The group was afraid to walk through town at night, so they waited outside by the port of entry without any protection from organized crime groups, which are known to patrol this area, for 4 hours until the sun came up.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “April 29 Update From KBI”, April 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation

Accountability Status: Unknown

August 17, 2021

“A Guatemalan man who was migrating due to extreme poverty attempted crossing into the U.S.
near McAllen, Texas. Border Patrol apprehended him, held him under a highway bridge for
several days, then told him they would arrange transport to his family members in the United
States. They flew him to Tucson, and when they took him off the flight, told him they would take
him to a place where he could sign papers for the transport to his family. Instead, they put him
on a bus to Nogales, where he was expelled. He did not know he was being expelled until
he reached the port of entry.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “August 19 Update From KBI”, August 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Rio Grande Valley, Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Lying or Deliberate Misleading

Accountability Status: Unknown

August 15, 2021

“A woman who had severely injured her leg in the desert required emergency medical attention. Border Patrol took her to a hospital where she could be treated, but took her out of the hospital after a day and a half, despite the doctor’s recommendation that she stay for two weeks. Since her clothes were cut to treat her injury, she did not have anything left to wear. BP agents provided her with oversized disposable scrub pants and shirt, and no underwear. They then took her to their processing center, without any consideration for her or her injury. She was expelled into Mexico without proper clothing nor her prescribed medications.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “August 19 Update From KBI”, August 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation, Denial of Medical Care, Non-Return of Belongings

Accountability Status: Unknown

August 14, 2021

“A woman from Guatemala who was migrating with her younger sister was expelled to Nogales
last week after Border Patrol apprehended the sisters in the desert. Because the younger sister
was a minor and her older sister was not her legal guardian, the sisters were separated when
they were apprehended. The younger sister was kept in the custody of the Office of Refugee
Resettlement, and the older sister was expelled to Nogales. Border Patrol gave her no
information whatsoever about what they had done with her younger sister, and she had
no idea how to locate her. She was one of three women who came through KBI recently in the
same situation.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “August 19 Update From KBI”, August 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Family Separation

Accountability Status: Unknown

April 29, 2021

“A Guatemalan father who had been expelled from the US four months ago was selling food in the street with
his family one day when an armed man arrived and killed him in front of his wife and seven-year-old
daughter. His wife and daughter fled their hometown to seek protection in the US and crossed between
ports of entry to assert their asylum claim. The woman carried her husband’s death certificate and showed it
to Border Patrol agents, who accused them of purchasing the document at a pharmacy and refused to hear
their fear claim.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “April 29 Update From KBI”, April 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Unknown

April 29, 2021

“A Guatemalan mother arrived at KBI earlier this month after her husband and daughter were kidnapped last
fall and they were forced to flee threats in their hometown. The woman sold her house and left with her other
two children. She paid $4,000 USD to cross through the desert to assert her asylum claim multiple times, but
was returned under Title 42 twice, at which point she had no more money to try again. When she
encountered the Border Patrol and asserted her fear of returning to Guatemala, the agent said that asylum
cases are not being processed right now. The family stayed for a time in Juárez, but also received threats
there when an organized crime group tried to convince them to cross drugs and they refused.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “April 29 Update From KBI”, April 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Unknown

April 26, 2021

“This week a Honduran family of 3 was expelled to Nogales, Sonora at 8PM, when it was already dark. A
Mexican police officer allowed them to come into their office and eat some food, and then advised that they
walk to the shelter in the dark, which is about a two mile walk. As they walked, a police vehicle stopped them
and offered them a ride, expressing their concern that a migrant family would walk through such a dangerous
area at night.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “April 29 Update From KBI”, April 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lw3sTn0rVUN0YEpJquEhaJKRdplKFeV3/view?usp=sharing>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation

Accountability Status: Unknown