Organizational Culture Events where the event type is “Abuse of minor”

June 19, 2021

“A woman fleeing with her children from domestic violence reported that Border Patrol agents laughed at one
of her daughters when she told them she was crying because of the abuse she’d suffered. Once the family
was taken to a Border Patrol station, another agent reportedly yelled at the mother after she had expressed
that she could not return to her country for fear of further violence, saying “look, you’re here as a migrant.
You didn’t have a reason for crossing into this country. You’re going back to your country as you arrived, or
worse.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “June 24 Update From KBI”, June 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Abusive Language, Denial of Asylum

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:

February 27, 2021

“A young Salvadoran man traveling with his sister arrived at our migrant center after being expelled under
Title 42 last week. While he was in CBP custody, a Border Patrol agent yelled at the group he was traveling
with: “Don’t move, you “M—- F—-rs.” The agent threatened that if they so much as moved, he would release
the dog to “tear them into sh–.” While detained by CBP, they did not receive any food, and were not allowed
to go to the bathroom until they repeatedly insisted. They were expelled to Nogales, Sonora at 12AM, when
the Mexican immigration office was closed and there was no one there to receive them, so they slept outside
the INM office in the cold. When they arrived at KBI, they had gone about 3 days without eating.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, CBP

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

Accountability Status: No steps taken

February 25, 2021

“Last week 2 unaccompanied minors were returned to Nogales, Sonora under Title 42, despite guidance that
these individuals should not be subject to expulsion. One of these minors was a 17-year-old Guatemalan girl who a Border Patrol agent accused of lying about her age. BP returned her to Mexico at 8PM, and she was
forced to stay the night outside, until she found help in the morning.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: No steps taken

June 25, 2020

The following cases and patterns of persistent toxic behavior are from a July 2020 complaint about Border Patrol’s Vehicle Pursuit Policy and the Deadly Pursuit and Crash on June 25, 2020 in El Paso filed by the ACLU to the CRCL and DHS OIG.

“On June 25, 2020, another Border Patrol vehicle chase led to a crash that killed  seven people in the same location in El Paso, TX. Gustavo Cervantes, 18, of El  Paso; Yadira Barrera, 16, of El Paso; Liliana Jimenez, 16, of El Paso; Jorge  Manuel Acosta, 19, of El Paso; Oscar Miguel Garcia- Bran, 21, of Guatemala;  Elvira Tot-Chiroy, 19, of Guatemala; and Santos Porfirio-Garcia, 32, of Guatemala were reported deceased by either the El Paso Police or their family  members. Wilmer Gomez of Guatemala was one of three survivors in the vehicle  and says he remembers being chased by approximately seven Border Patrol  vehicles. Other witnesses also recount that Border Patrol vehicles were speeding  in pursuit when the crash occurred.”

“Border Patrol engages in dangerous vehicle pursuit cases that result in an  increase number of deaths and injuries, including a deadly crash that killed seven in El Paso in 2020. Border Patrol refuses to release their vehicle pursuit policy, thereby  making it impossible to review its compliance with relevant guidelines, legal  protections, or police best practices. The high number of injuries and deaths resulting  from Border Patrol’s actions suggest either that the policy fails to protect the safety  and lives of pursuit subjects or that agents are consistently acting outside the bounds of agency policy.”

“From 2015 to 2018 alone, at least 250 people were injured and 22 were killed in a  vehicle crash due to a vehicle pursuit by Border Patrol. The number of people injured in Border Patrol pursuit crashes increased by 42  percent under the Trump administration.” 

Source: Shaw Drake and Jonathan Blazer, ACLU, Letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas, “Re: Unresolved Complaints of CBP Misconduct Require Immediate Attention and Accountability,” March 3, 2021.

Sector(s): El Paso

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Fatal Encounter, Use of Force, Weak Oversight

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

May 27, 2020

“Last week KBI received a Guatemalan child who had traveled north with the hope of attending school in the
US. Although CBP officials have repeatedly told KBI that Border Patrol agents are directed not to expel
unaccompanied children, this 16-year-old was expelled to Nogales, Sonora. The Border Patrol agent that interviewed him took away his birth certificate, told him it was fake, and accused him of lying about his age,
before expelling him to Nogales, Sonora.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “May 27 Update From KBI”, May 2020.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Denial of Asylum, Inappropriate Deportation, Non-Return of Belongings

Accountability Status: No steps taken

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

February 18, 2020

The following cases and patterns of persistent toxic behavior are from a February 18, 2020 complaint about abuse and mistreatment of detained sick children filed by the ACLU to the CRCL and DHS OIG.

“CBP detention devastates children’s mental and physical development; children have died while in custody, and conditions are often inhumane and abusive.”

“At the emergency room, a doctor determined that a 6-week-old child was  dehydrated and constipated. The doctor explained that there was little he could do  for the baby and insisted that the baby see a pediatrician as soon as possible.  Instead—and in direct contravention of this medical advice—the Border Patrol  returned the child and her mother to detention. On the family’s fifth day of detention, they were finally released to the San Diego Migrant Family Shelter. The mother recalled that, at the child’s final check-up in  Tijuana, shortly before the family had arrived in the United States, she had  weighed 5 kilos 200 grams (11.46 pounds). By the time the child was weighed at the San Diego Migrant Shelter, she weighed only 4 kilos (8.82 pounds).”

Source: Shaw Drake and Jonathan Blazer, ACLU, Letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas, “Re: Unresolved Complaints of CBP Misconduct Require Immediate Attention and Accountability,” March 3, 2021.

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

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

February 16, 2020

A pregnant Guatemalan woman was forced to give birth to her baby, with her pants on and holding on to the side of a trash can at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station near San Diego. “…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… 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.”

The Guatemalan woman and the baby’s father had migrated with “their two young daughters and arrived at the San Isidro Port of Entry in San Diego in mid-May 2019, nine months before she gave birth. They were sent back to Mexico and spent nine months in a camp in Tijuana, presenting themselves at the border for three separate immigration hearings… During their wait, the woman became pregnant, with a due date of mid-March 2020.”

On February 16, 2020, ” the woman began receiving calls from the persecutors the family was fleeing… They began to harass her and threaten her… The family decided they couldn’t wait any longer. They set out to cross the border illegally, outside the port of entry, understanding they were like to be apprehended by ICE, but that they would be safer in U.S. detainment than in the camps.”

“As they crossed the desert, the woman began to feel contractions and immense pain… They were soon apprehended by a Border Patrol agent. The woman was in clear distress, and her husband begged the agent for medical attention, but instead the agent loaded the family into his car and giving them a ‘rough ride’ (an abusive practice in which some border agents reportedly purposefully drive so badly as to fling detainees around the car.”

“Shortly after [the birth], the woman was separated from her family and brought to a local hospital where she stayed for two nights. As she received postpartum care, a border agent remained in the room with her, not allowed her privacy. In the hospital, she was also diagnosed with influenza.”

“After she was discharged from the hospital, the Border Patrol agent brought her back to the station with her newborn — and, because she had symptoms of the flu, put her and her family into a quarantine cell… These cells are notoriously freezing cold, but when the woman asked for a blanket for her newborn, she was denied.”

The birth was detailed in a complaint [1] filed by the ACLU and Jewish Family Service of San Diego with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal led a letter with 12 other members of Congress to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari demanding an investigation [2].

[1] Monika Y. Langarica, Kate Clark, and Dr. Kay Daniels, “Re: U.S. Border Patrol’s Abuse and Mistreatment of [REDACTED]” (ACLU and Jewish Family Service, April 8, 2020) <https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6827805-2020-04-07-OIG-Cmplt-Final-Redacted.html>

[2] Senator Richard Blumenthal et al, “Re: CBP Mistreating Pregnant Detainees,” (United States Senate, April 8, 2020) <https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2020.04.08%20DHS%20OIG%20Letter%20re%20CBP%20Mistreating%20Pregnant%20Detainees.pdf>

Source: Ema O’Connor, “A Woman Gave Birth In a Border Patrol Station Still Wearing Pants. Now The Agents Involved Are Being Accused of Abuse” (BuzzFeed News, April 9, 2020) <https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emaoconnor/pregnant-woman-birth-border-patrol-aclu-complaint>

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abuse of minor, Conditions in Custody, Denial of Medical Care, Family Separation, Gender-based Violence

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG