Organizational Culture Events in “Tucson”

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

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

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

August 7, 2021

“On August 7, 2021, at approximately 7:09 PM, a Jeep Liberty fled eastbound on State Road 86 (SR 86) after circumventing the primary inspection area of the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint located near Three Points, AZ. Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) assigned to the Tucson Border Patrol Station travelled eastbound on SR 86 attempting to locate the vehicle. A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter crew responded to the area and located the vehicle travelling eastbound on SR 86. The AMO helicopter crew provided aerial surveillance of the vehicle providing updates as to its location to BPAs on the ground. The AMO pilot observed the Jeep Liberty drive erratically through several red lights as it continued into Tucson, AZ. The vehicle then entered onto northbound I-19, which is approximately 24 miles east of the SR 86 checkpoint.”

Unknown
Age: Unknown
Nationality: Unknown
Cause of Death: Fatal Car Chase
Incident Date: August 7, 2021
Incident Location: Marana, AZ

Source: Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), “Fatal Encounters with CBP Since 2010,” <https://www.southernborder.org/deaths_by_border_patrol>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Fatal Encounter, Vehicle Pursuit

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

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 Honduran man, wife and daughter entered the United States and were detained in [across from] Reynosa. They told the agents who detained them that they wanted to seek asylum. The agents said “no,” that there was nothing the agents could do for them; however, the agents asked the family to write down their names. The family was taken under a bridge, where they were told to sleep outdoors, on the concrete. They were not given food or water for 10 hours. There were several hundred other migrants under the bridge with no access to running water. All the migrants were confined in a small space where they could touch each other. There were three toilets (port-o-potties) for several hundred migrants. There were no facilities for them to bathe under the bridge. On the fourth day, the family was flown to Tucson where they were finally able to wash themselves, though they were detained there for four days and only allowed to wash that one time. In Tucson, they asked again to be considered for asylum but were again told no. The agents also shouted at the immigrants asking them to shut their kids up. The agents told the family that since they came to the US illegally, they had no right to asylum, and that they should attempt to seek asylum at the nearby port of entry. From there, they were 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): Rio Grande Valley, Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

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

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 23, 2021

“A Honduran man, his wife, and daughter entered the United States near McAllen, Texas where they were detained. They were kept under an overpass with hundreds of other migrants. The agents took their temperatures and biometric data. There was a medical tent, but the family could not get medical attention. Their infant daughter became sick while they were there. Although they asked for medical attention for their baby, the agents refused to provide any. They were held there for three days. This family was exposed to the elements and went without basic necessities like running water, beds to sleep in, etc. They were only fed twice a day. Border Patrol would periodically call names to board buses; if you missed your name, you had to wait until next time they came to call your name. Because of this, people chose to remain awake rather than risk missing their chance to leave. The father recalls the brutal sleep deprivation this caused. After three days the Border Patrol transferred them to a facility. At the facility the agents confiscated all their belongings (clothes, medicine, diapers, phone chargers, etc.). They were not given anything to eat at the facility for the whole day. The father was temporarily separated from his wife and daughter and placed in a separate holding facility with about fifty others, who had been at the facility for some time. Eventually, the agents took down details of the family members they had in the US and told them they could leave once their family members had paid for their travel. This was a lie. The family was instead taken to the airport and flown to Tucson, AZ and then 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): Rio Grande Valley, Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Asylum, Denial of Food or Water, Denial of Medical Care, Family Separation, Lying or Deliberate Misleading, Non-Return of Belongings

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

July 16, 2021

“We filed a complaint on behalf of a Cuban couple, who was kidnapped for months in Mexico. A
government official in southern Mexico put them in contact with the woman who ended up kidnapping them.
After several months they managed to escape, but the woman has continued to send threatening messages
and says that she knows they are in Nogales. When they crossed into the US and were detained, they tried
to express their fear of return to Border Patrol agents. However, the agent responsible for processing them
only replied “you think I’m here to solve your problems? … All Cubans come here with the same story” and
“you are going back no matter what and you will have to figure out what to do.” Another agent told them
there was nothing he could do besides give them a speedy court date. He scheduled them for a July hearing,
which has since been rescheduled to October due to the court cancellations. Both were returned to Nogales,
Sonora with no access to an interview with a USCIS officer to assess their fear of return.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 23 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

July 8, 2021

“One teenager arrived with her sister after Border Patrol denied them a credible fear screening. She
explained to border officials that she was fleeing the man who raped her, beat her sister, and was pursuing
her as she left. On one occasion, a US official reached into her blouse and bra, despite her protests, to take
documents relating to her sexual abuse and laughed at her while reading her papers.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 8 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum, Gender-based Violence, Sexual Assault

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

July 8, 2021

“ICE continues to transport migrants to Nogales, Sonora for removal from the U.S. at night. The practice
places migrants at an unnecessary increased risk of robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes, and
excludes them from coordination and reception services available for recently removed migrants. Because of
the well- known danger of said practice, Local Repatriation Agreements between U.S. and Mexican
authorities prohibited night deportations for years, but since spring of 2020 these removals have occured
very frequently. KBI staff and migrants have reported nighttime deportations on at least five nights in
the last two weeks. Because shelters are closed when migrants are deported or expelled at night, many individuals are forced to sleep outside of the port of entry on benches. One night last week migrants were expelled in the midst of a heavy rain that flooded the streets near the port of entry.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 8 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Dangerous Deportation

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

July 8, 2021

“Having heard that asylum was being denied to anyone except single women traveling with children, a woman
from Guatemala decided to cross the desert with her one-year-old baby in hopes that Border Patrol would
listen to her asylum claim. When she was apprehended by Border Patrol, they refused to give her access to a credible fear hearing and instead removed her and her child to Nogales, Sonora, where she met up with
her husband. The family is fleeing death threats in Guatemala because they can no longer pay extortion fees
given the expenses required to support their baby. Once reunited in Nogales, they attempted crossing twice
more through the desert with their baby, only to be returned both times without being screened for credible
fear.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 8 Update From KBI”, July 2021. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WO0_klu2ADpdA0-upu6ZmjPHVJCTwWAt/view>

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

July 8, 2021

“Recently, one of our legal service partners spoke with Maily Martinez, who attempted to cross the border with her
husband and son near the Yuma port of entry in early July. Maily was eight months pregnant with twins at the time.
When BP agents encountered the family, the woman expressed that she urgently needed medical attention, but the
agents ignored her and expelled her back to Mexico. She realized shortly after that the twins had died, likely rightaround the time that Border Patrol denied her medical aid.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 22 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Asylum, Denial of Medical Care, Fatal Encounter, Gender-based Violence

Accountability Status: Lawsuit Filed

July 5, 2021

“A Guatemalan woman, her sister (19), brother, and son entered the United States and were all detained by border patrol. At that time the agent was very nice to them and gave them water and took them to a Border Patrol station. They were subsequently moved to Tucson. There, CBP processed the sister first, and a female CBP agent reached into her sister’s shirt and grabbed sister’s documents from her bra. Her brother was separated from them, and she did not have any information about his whereabouts as of July 10. She was never told why they separated her brother from her. She was also then separated from her sister, who CBP says tried to escape them while they were walking in the desert. The woman told agents several times that her sister had not tried to escape apprehension and that they had been together the whole time. The officers told her “You are not in your country. We are in charge here.” In the facility, the staff at the station refused to give them blankets. In the early morning, she was reunited with her sister on a bus. She tried several times to tell them she was seeking asylum, but no one listened. CBP kept telling them that this was their country, and they were in charge. The woman, her sister, and son were expelled 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): Conditions in Custody, Denial of Asylum, Family Separation, Lying or Deliberate Misleading

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

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

July 4, 2021

“A Guatemalan mother and her four children who had fled persecution in their home country entered the US
on July 4th with a packet of evidence related to their asylum case, including police reports that document
their attempts to seek protection. When apprehended by Border Patrol, she tried to show agents that
evidence. Instead, two ASID (Alien Smuggler Identification and Deterrence) agents interrogated her for
around half an hour about who she had paid and how she had crossed. They refused to listen to her or
look at any documents related to her asylum claim and threatened that if she didn’t give them the
information they wanted on the smuggler she would face serious consequences. They asked her for her
husband’s number. Since he is in the US and is in the asylum process, she thought that they would call
him as part of processing her for asylum. Instead, they only called her husband to ask whether he paid the
cartel and, if so, how much money. Before expelling the mother and her four children, a Border Patrol
agent said to her that she should pass on the message of: “Don’t come here. You aren’t going to get
anything. If you bring kids, you won’t accomplish anything.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 9 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Complaint filed with CRCL

July 4, 2021

“A Salvadoran mother who was detained and expelled on July 4th with her 14-year-old daughter, who is
asthmatic, reported that in the few hours in custody Border Patrol agents at the Nogales Station yelled at
them repeatedly. One agent gathered the group and told everyone “send the message back to everyone
that even if you have asylum cases and even if you have kids there would be no options in the US for you.”
He told them “tell others that you would never triumph in the US.” She and her daughter were quickly
returned to Mexico despite their fear of return and were never given a chance to share additional
information on the persecution that they had fled in El Salvador.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “July 9 Update From KBI”, July 2021.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: No steps taken