Organizational Culture Events where the event type is “Inappropriate Deportation”

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

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

August 12, 2021

A Cameroonian asylum-seeker is suing the US government for an alleged assault by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) officers, who he said knelt on his neck and suffocated him to try to force him to accept his own deportation.

In a filed on Thursday, Acheleke Fuanya said the alleged attack, at a Louisiana prison in January, has left him with persistent back and waist pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He also claims lingering Covid symptoms after the alleged incident in which he says the Ice officers were unmasked in violation of official regulations.

“The officers surrounded Mr Fuanya, tripped him to the ground, and kneeled on his neck, and pulled his head forward in order to suffocate him,” the complaint says. “Other officers yanked his arms and twisted his leg and ankle. Even after Mr Fuanya pleaded with the officers to get off of him because he could not breathe, they continued to choke him until they grabbed his fingers and forcibly fingerprinted him.”

The Ice officers were trying to make him sign a document and appeared to take his fingerprint by force as a substitute for a signature. The exact contents of the document are unknown but in other cases Ice officers have allegedly try to force asylum-seekers to sign waivers of their asylum rights or requests to their home governments for travel documents, which would put a veneer of legality on their deportations.

Source: The Guardian, “Cameroonian asylum-seeker sues US for alleged assault by Ice officers”, August 2021. <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/12/cameroonian-asylum-seeker-sues-us-for-alleged-assault-by-ice-officers>

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): ICE

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

Accountability Status: Lawsuit Filed

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

July 30, 2021

“A Guatemalan man who has been in the United States since 2005 was detained in the desert while trying to pick up his wife. He went to pick her up, but  they got lost in the desert. Eventually they called 911 for help. The Pima County  Sheriff’s officer then detained them. Border Patrol arrived at the scene, and they  were then handed over to them. Despite having a work permit, which he tried to  present to agents, he was not allowed to leave the checkpoint. He was not crossing  the border. CBP officers then forced him to sign a document and put him in a vehicle  and they told him he was going to be expelled under Title 42. He was expelled in Nogales.”

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): Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, Complaint filed with OPR

July 5, 2021

“A Guatemalan woman and her two young daughters entered the United  States through the desert and encountered a Border Patrol agent. They were  detained and moved to a facility with cold rooms. Then they were transferred to  Tucson. There, she told an agent that she had injured her foot while walking in the  desert and needed medical attention. The agent agreed, but then she walked away  and never came back. She was never given any medical attention. They were made  to sit in the chairs at the Tucson facility; the children could not sleep. At the facility, they were forced to take off any extra clothing and allowed to wear only a t-shirt  and pants. Her daughter was shivering. They asked for blankets but were given only  one small one many hours later. She tried to tell agents she wanted to seek asylum, but no one listened to her. The next morning the family was expelled to Nogales,  Sonora.”

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): Denial of Asylum, Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

May 16, 2021

“A Mexican man presented himself at the DeConcini Port of Entry  seeking asylum several times over a period of two days. He received threats that  made him believe his life was in danger and even survived an attempted kidnapping  in Nogales. On May 16, he ran toward the port of entry, near where cars were  crossing because he was afraid of his pursuers. CBP officers apprehended him there. He was punched, kicked, and beaten by about twelve officers. He told them that he  wanted asylum because there were people in Mexico who were trying to kill him.  CBP did not give him an opportunity to talk to anyone else and he was immediately  expelled back to Mexico. CBP called the Mexican police, who never came. They then  called the Mexican Red Cross to take him to the General Hospital of Nogales in  Sonora. The hospital did not take care of his wounds. When released from the  hospital, he tried again to enter the United States at the port of entry because people were following him. He tried asking for asylum to the 9 agents who detained him.  However, the agents told him he had no right to be in the United States and asked  him to be silent. The agents then took him to a room and questioned him but did not  ask him about asylum. He was then expelled back to Mexico again.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): CBP

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

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL, 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

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

November 18, 2020

US government officials admitted in federal court Tuesday that they violated a judge’s order when 32 unaccompanied immigrant children were expelled back to Guatemala, adding that they will begin the process of getting the group back to apply for asylum.

The offer to return the group to the US is a dramatic turn in a monthslong saga over the Nov. 18 flight to Guatemala, which occurred shortly after US Judge Emmet Sullivan blocked the Trump administration from turning back unaccompanied children under the argument that it would protect against further spread of COVID-19. Roughly 10 minutes later, at 10:12 a.m. ET, ICE officials deported the children.

An ICE deportation official, Evan Katz, confirmed in the filing that the agency had sought Guatemalan approval to return most of the children to the US, many of whom reboarded the plane as part of the process. Katz told the court that an ICE assistant attaché in Guatemala received an email from an agency colleague that afternoon stating: “The single minors have disembarked however they want the kids to be returned to the US.”

Of the 32 children, 28 boarded the plane again at about 4:55 p.m. ET on Nov. 18 because the remaining four had tested positive for COVID-19 and were taken to be quarantined, one of the government filings states. But a few minutes later, the children were taken off the plane.

Source: Buzzfeed News, “US Officials Admitted They Violated A Court Order When They Expelled 32 Immigrant Children To Guatemala”, January 2021. <https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/us-officials-violated-court-order-immigrant-children>

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG

October 30, 2020

Over 200 children from countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have been forced into Mexico after trying to cross into the U.S. in the last eight months, according to the New York Times, where they were placed with welfare authorities and into shelters operated by religious groups and private organizations.

According to U.S. policy and an agreement with the Mexican government, only Mexican children and children with adult supervision can be pushed back into Mexico after trying to cross the border, the report saidothers are supposed to be flown back to their home countries by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Trump administration in March began turning migrants and asylum seekers who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally instead of moving them into detention centers, a policy the administration had sought in the past that was blocked by federal courts, saying the policy change was necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  

An email from U.S. Border Patrol’s assistant chief, Eduardo Sanchez, obtained by the Times, confirmed that unaccompanied children had been sent back into Mexico instead of being flown to their home countries, and acting commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection agency Mark Morgan acknowledged that expelling unaccompanied non-Mexican children to Mexico was against U.S. policy.

Source: Forbes, “Migrant Children Sent To Mexico Alone, Against U.S. Policy”, October 2020. <https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielcassady/2020/10/30/migrant-children-sent-to-mexico-alone-against-us-policy/?sh=f863eb43b645>

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG

September 8, 2020

Ms. Doe’s harrowing ten-day period of detention in DHS custody began on September 8, 2020, when she and her husband once again attempted to enter the United States, this time turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents and requesting asylum. Agents transported Ms. Doe and her husband to the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station. Once there, Ms. Doe notified the agents that she was pregnant, even showing them photos from a recent ultrasound she had undergone while in Tijuana. Notwithstanding, Border Patrol agents separated Ms. Doe from her husband immediately after processing.

The Border Patrol forced Ms. Doe to remove all outer layers of clothing, leaving her upper body clothed in only a sleeveless, thin-strapped blouse. Border Patrol agents gave Ms. Doe a floor mat and silver colored plastic (Mylar) sheet to use as a blanket before placing her in a large holding cell. The toilet and sink to which Ms. Doe had access in her holding cell lacked safeguards for privacy. Ms. Doe was never allowed to bathe while in Border Patrol custody and was instead provided a single moist towelette to clean her entire body every three to four days. She was also only provided a small plastic stick with a sponge tip every three to four days to brush her teeth. The Border Patrol kept the cell lights on 24 hours per day, which made it difficult for Ms. Doe to fall asleep. Ms. Doe felt very cold in the holding cell, unable to warm up with the Mylar sheet, and unable to sleep or rest.

 Despite her multiple requests, Ms. Doe was denied access to her prenatal vitamins and was never given an equivalent supplement while in CBP custody. 

On her seventh day in Border Patrol custody, Ms. Doe observed agents taking her husband and his belongings out of the holding cell in which he had been detained. She was never given an opportunity to talk to him before he was taken away. She panicked as she saw the agents removing him from the facility, and began banging on the cell door pleading for the agents’ attention. An agent informed Ms. Doe that her husband was being transferred to an ICE detention center and that she would soon be transferred as well. She recalls an agent explaining, to her horror, that many pregnant women are detained in ICE custody and that she could give birth while detained. Ms. Doe felt frozen in that moment, unable to catch her breath, with her hands going numb, and her heart rate accelerating. Ms. Doe soon caught the attention of a medical provider in the station, who explained that she had most likely experienced an anxiety attack.

After nine days detained at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station, Ms. Doe was informed that she would be transferred to an ICE detention center. She was transported to a different location and spent her last night in a different holding cell with three other women. The following day, immigration officials transported her to an office where she was instructed to sign multiple documents she did not understand and told that she had court scheduled for November 18, 2020.

Thereafter, Ms. Doe was transported to a local San Diego hotel where she was greeted by Jewish Family Service San Diego Migrant Family Shelter (“JFS”) staff. JFS staff were the first to explain to Ms. Doe that she was out of immigration custody and would be reunited with her family in the United States after completing a fourteen-day quarantine period in the shelter. Ms. Doe eventually learned that her husband was in ICE custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where he remains as of the date of this submission.8 Prior to learning his whereabouts, Ms. Doe spent thirteen agonizing days without hearing from him, worrying about his safety and wellbeing.

Ms. Doe is currently five months pregnant. Her separation from the father of her child has caused her stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil. She fears that her husband might not be present for their first child’s birth, and that she will have to go through the experience alone without his support. Worse yet, Ms. Doe’s source of greatest distress is the possibility that her husband will be deported to danger in their country of origin, without ever being be able to see or hold their child. 

Source: ACLU, “Unresolved OIG Complaints” p. 125, March 2020. <https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/appendix-13-unresolved-oig-complaints>

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Medical Care, Family Separation, Inappropriate Deportation, Lying or Deliberate Misleading

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG

August 19, 2020

A Central American man was extrajudicially deported by ICE before having his scheduled day in immigration court. His illegal expulsion happened during an action that sent scores of detainees from Louisiana to Guatemala on an airplane, after they had tested positive for the coronavirus while in ICE detention, but later were deemed virus-free. The Intercept confirmed that one person was illegally deported in this manner, but there may have been more victims.

On August 19, Cesar Marroquín was put on a packed flight to Guatemala after spending five months in detention, waiting to pursue a claim for asylum and for protection against torture in his home country. By law, ICE cannot deport someone unless an immigration judge first orders their removal; ICE merely carries out the judges’ decisions. But before a judge could rule on whether or not Marroquín should be deported, ICE contravened the court’s authority and expelled him.

ICE has admitted to The Intercept that the expulsion was improper. In an emailed statement, agency spokesperson Bryan Cox said that Marroquín’s deportation resulted from an “administrative error” that is “exceedingly rare.” Cox did not respond when asked if other immigrants on the plane in addition to Marroquín were illegally deported.

Source: The Intercept, “ICE Admits Wrongful Deportation of Guatemalan Man”, October 2020. <https://theintercept.com/2020/10/07/ice-wrongful-deportation-guatemala/>

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): ICE

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

Accountability Status: 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

March 23, 2020

On March 23, U.S. Border Patrol officers stopped Gilmer Barrios at a checkpoint on I-15 north between Fallbrook and Temecula. Barrios, who had a pending immigration case to gain legal status in the U.S., was on his way home to Temecula from San Diego County when he passed an immigration checkpoint residents say has been largely dormant for years, but has become active again during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Border agents quickly deported Barrios to Tijuana. Barrios had an open case in U.S. immigration court, no prior deportation order and is a Guatemalan citizen – so if he was going to be deported, it shouldn’t have been to Tijuana. After 21 days in Tijuana, with help of the Guatemalan consul general in Los Angeles, he was brought back to the United States.

Source: Voice of San Diego, “Border Patrol Activity in Rural North County Alarms Farmworkers, Advocates” May 27, 2020.<https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/immigration-enforcement-efforts-in-rural-north-county-alarm-farmworkers-advocates/>.

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Inappropriate Deportation

Accountability Status: No steps taken