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Border Patrol

The Reality Of Border Patrol’s Confiscation Of Migrants’ Belongings

In our report we outline what CBP and Border Patrol should do to address this issue. In summary, CBP must ensure consistency in Border Patrol’s approach towards migrants and respect for their personal belongings by: Allowing migrants to retain as many of their personal belongings as possible, prioritizing essential belongings – from the Border Patrol’s initial encounter with migrants to their release from U.S. government custody; Ensuring that migrants in, and released from, its custody have continuous access to their medications or medical devices; Ensuring that Border Patrol affords care and respect towards migrants’ religious garb and other articles of faith and that it complies with the legal protections guaranteed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Asylum Seekers Stranded Along Border Wall Near Sasabe, Arizona

The afternoon sun cut diagonally through the 16-foot-tall concrete-reinforced steel bollards marking the international boundary between the United States and Mexico east of Sasabe, Arizona. The wall’s long shadows cast a strobe light effect on cars passing along the roughly graded road cut into the mountainside along the U.S. side of the desert.

An Open Border Could Benefit Us All

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed two bills into law designed to further harden the southern border. SB 3 provides $1.5 billion for additional wall building and to support more state law enforcement targeting of low-income immigrant neighborhoods, like Houston’s Colony Ridge. SB 4 gives local police the power to engage in immigration enforcement, including arresting people for not having the right citizenship papers and deporting people into Mexico, regardless of their country of origin. The bills, which Abbott signed into law on December 18, represent a dangerous and almost certainly unconstitutional expansion of police power, consistent with Abbott’s earlier interventions along the border, which have included dispatching the National Guard as part of Operation Lone Star, which directly contributed to drowning deaths on the Rio Grande border.

US Further Militarizes The Border As COVID-Era Restrictions Expire

On May 11, Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy, expired—precipitating a surge in migrants crossing the US–Mexico border. Title 42 used the COVID-19 public health emergency as an excuse to swiftly expel migrants to Mexico. The expiration of the policy has fueled a surge in migration across the Southern border as migrants reportedly are trying to get into the US either before Title 42 restrictions expire to avoid Biden’s new immigration measures, or after, fueled by a rumor that the end of Title 42 will make immigration easier. Although Biden campaigned on being more “humane” towards migrants, the Biden administration used Title 42 liberally, expelling over two million migrants before the policy expired.

Volunteers And Victims Of US Border Patrol Violence Demand Justice

Hundreds of people die every year at the hands of US Border Patrol agents, either from being beaten, shot, car chases or being left stranded in the desert,  simply for exercising their right to move. A US Supreme Court decision, Hernandez Vs Mesa, in February 2020 granted the US Border Patrol the ability to murder people on the Mexican side of the border without being held accountable. Clearing the FOG spoke with four women from the Border Patrol Victims Network - Ana Maria Vasquez and Tracye Peterson, who are volunteers, Marisol Garcia Alcantara, who was shot by border agents, and Yanelis Laurencia, whose 23-year-old son was murdered. They are working to raise awareness of the rampant violence on the border that targets migrants and local residents, and to demand justice.

Operation Lone Star Has Cost Texans Nearly $4.5 Billion

Gov. Greg Abbott’s misguided Operation Lone Star is costing Texans $2.5 million a week — that’s about $4.5 billion since it began in March 2021. The money being misspent on Operation Lone Star could instead be going to more urgent needs for Texans — an updated power grid, infrastructure in rural communities, and it could even be invested in improving the lives of those in custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Operation Lone Star was ostensibly created to deter migration through arresting, jailing and prosecuting migrants on illegal trespassing charges.

Commission Hears Landmark Case Of Killing By US Border Patrol

For the first time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has agreed to hear an extrajudicial killing case involving violence committed by U.S. law enforcement. The Commission is a body of the Organization of American States, which includes the United States. It considers cases involving torture, massacres, extrajudicial killings and disappearances in the Americas. On May 28, 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, a 42-year-old long-time San Diego resident and father of five, was crossing the border from Mexico into the United States when he was apprehended and tortured by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. He died in the hospital a few days later from his injuries. In order to cover up their crimes, the agents attempted to destroy evidence and create a false narrative that portrayed them as the victims and Hernández Rojas as the aggressor.

The Moment Black People Showed Up, We Responded With Violence

Listeners will remember the pictures: US Border patrol agents on horseback, wielding reins like whips as they corralled and captured Haitian asylum seekers along the Rio Grande. The appalling images might have served as a symbol of the ill-treatment of Haitians escaping violence and desperation. Instead, elite media made them a stand-in, so that when the report came that, despite appearances, the border patrol didn’t actually whip anyone, one felt that was supposed to sweep away all of the concerns together. Well, there are serious problems with that report, but we should also ask why we saw controversy about photographs foregrounded over the story of Haitians’ horrific treatment at the hands of US border officials—treatment that a new Amnesty report, echoing others, describes as amounting to race-based torture. And why were media so quick to look away?

The Border-Industrial Complex In The Biden Era

First, it was the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) vehicles speeding along on the road in front of our campsite. Then it was the Border Patrol’s all-terrain vehicles moving swiftly on a ridge above us. I was about 10 miles north of the border with Mexico, near Peña Blanca Lake in southern Arizona, camping with my six-year-old son and some other families. Like fire trucks racing to a blaze, the Border Patrol mobilization around me was growing so large I could only imagine an emergency situation developing. I started climbing to get a better look and soon found myself alone on a golden hill dotted with alligator junipers and mesquite. Brilliant vermilion flycatchers fluttered between the branches. The road, though, was Border Patrol all the way.

Border Militias Set Up Fake Aid Stations To Trap Migrants

The growth of the militia movement the past several years has left many of our communities reeling from intimidation, harassment and violence. Donald Trump’s tacit endorsement of the far right “patriot” subculture has given it a pass to grow and recruit, often manipulating the dispossession that many rural and blue-collar workers are facing in our current economic tumult. Trump’s rhetoric about immigration, particularly the conspiratorial fear-mongering around the border, has played to a certain audience. This has inspired the growth of groups like the Arizona Border Recon and Veterans on Patrol, vigilante groups which sit at the border in an attempt to harm migrants. In a recent book called The Marauders: Standing Up to Vigilantes in the American Borderlands, journalist Patrick Strickland chronicles the battle that many communities have had against these border militias in states like Texas and Arizona.

US Border Patrol Agents Whip And Corral Haitian Migrants

Several reporters described the actions of Border Patrol agents mounted on horseback as using the reins of their horses to threaten migrants who had waded across the Rio Grande—which is exceptionally low at this point. The El Paso Times reported Monday that an agent ”swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse toward the men in the river.” The refugees assembled in a makeshift camp under the freeway bridge on the US side of the river have been crossing back into Mexico to get food and other supplies, rather than risk crossing through lines set up on the US side of the camp by the Border Patrol and Texas state police, who would arrest them and ship them off for immediate deportation.

The View From Inside America’s Child Immigrant Detention Shelters

Across the United States, hiding in plain sight in strip malls and downtown blocks and amid the suburban sprawl, a record number of immigrant children—more than 13,000—are being held in shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. Representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties portray the shelters as safe and even pleasant. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel both said the shelters were “like summer camp.” But several immigrant children to whom the World Socialist Web Site spoke told a different story. These youth, all Central Americans separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border, were recently released from child shelters and volunteered to share their experiences on the condition of anonymity.

Privacy, Immigrant Rights Groups Slam Biden’s ‘Smart Wall’

A coalition of privacy and immigrant rights groups are pushing back on the Biden administration’s proposal to deploy a “smart” wall on the southern border. In a statement released Thursday, first obtained by The Hill, the 40 groups slam the legislation introduced in Congress last week as a “continuation of the Trump administration’s racist border policies, not a break from it.” The letter pans the proposed use of "smart technology" at the border as "Trump’s wall by another name." The mammoth immigration bill, which is being spearheaded by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to develop technology and surveillance infrastructure to “manage and secure the southern border.”

Border Patrol Policies Kill Hundreds Of Migrants Each Year

Each year, untold numbers of migrants disappear in the borderlands after being pushed into dangerous and remote terrain by Border Patrol, the same agency that is then tasked with responding to migrants’ search and rescue emergencies. A new report released Wednesday found that the federal agency does not respond to 40% of these emergency calls. In a series of reports published over the course of five years, the southern Arizona organizations No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos have cataloged and reported the specific Border Patrol policies and tactics that have fueled a crisis of death and disappearance in the borderlands. The first report, released in 2016, detailed the 1994 Border Patrol policy “Prevention Through Deterrence” in which the United States militarized

Threats to Due Process In US Immigration Courts

The immigration court system has a long history of imperfectly meeting due process requirements, even though the due process clause of the Constitution applies to removal proceedings. There is a mismatch between the courts’ limited resources, their large and growing caseload, and the potentially devastating consequences of deportation decisions. These chronic problems have been compounded by a series of recent policy changes that have drastically curtailed immigration courts’ independence and immigrants’ rights to seek relief from deportation.
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