5 Records of Alleged Abusive or Improper Conduct in May 2020

Examples of abuses or other behaviors indicating need for reform at U.S. border and migration institutions

May 27, 2020

The Kino Border Initiative reported, “A young Salvadoran woman who crossed the border to seek asylum expressed her fear of returning to her country of origin to the Border Patrol agents that apprehended her. The agents responded by laughing in her face.”

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

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Protection to Most Vulnerable

Last Known Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: El Salvador, Female, Single Adult

Late May 2020

The Kino Border Initiative reported:

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.

— “May 27 Update From KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, May 2020).

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Confiscation of Documents, Denial of Protection to Most Vulnerable, Expulsion of Unaccompanied Minor

Last Known Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Guatemala, Unaccompanied Child

Late May 2020

The Kino Border Initiative reported:

A Guatemalan woman who arrived at the KBI migrant aid center this week shared that after losing her job during the pandemic, and with no economic recovery in sight in her town, she migrated north to find a way to support her family. She crossed the border with a group, including several minors, and was apprehended after walking about 25 hours in the desert. The Border Patrol agents who apprehended them threatened that if the group tried to run, he would release his dogs to chase them, and if they were bitten or injured as a result, it was their fault.

— “May 27 Update From KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, May 2020).

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Abusive Language, Threat of Violence

Last Known Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Female, Guatemala, Single Adult

Late May 2020

The Kino Border Initiative reported:

A young Guatemalan woman arrived in Nogales last week after fleeing domestic violence. Her partner had beaten her and her children. When she left him, he threatened to take away her children and continued to look for her to beat her children. When she crossed into the US to seek asylum, Border Patrol expelled her under Title 42 without giving her access to a fear assessment.

— “May 27 Update From KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, May 2020).

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Protection to Most Vulnerable

Last Known Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Domestic Violence Victim, Female, Guatemala

Early May 2020

The El Paso Times (May 5) and Arizona Public Media (May 7) separately reported that Border Patrol agents and CBP officers had been neglecting to wear face masks or practice social distancing in their interactions with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic’s early months. “There is a time and place for the mask. Maybe it doesn’t suit to everyone’s desires, but people should be given an option. We’re still all American citizens,” John Monahan, a CBP officer and union representative in El Paso, told the El Paso Times.

— Lauren Villagran, “Border patrol agents, officers say they have access to PPE. So why aren’t they all using it?” (El Paso: El Paso Times, May 5, 2020) https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2020/05/05/cbp-border-officers-lax-using-protective-gear-coronavirus-covid-19/3079923001/.

— Alisa Reznick, “Border residents: Border Patrol agents not wearing protective gear at checkpoints” (Arizona: Arizona Public Media, May 7, 2020) https://www.azpm.org/s/76269-border-residents-border-patrol-agents-not-wearing-protective-gear-at-checkpoints/.

Sector(s): El Paso, El Paso Field Office, Tucson, Tucson Field Office

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Disregard of Public Health

Last Known Accountability Status: No Steps Taken

Victim Classification: