January 7, 2023

CBS News shared strong surveillance video footage taken outside an El Paso homeless shelter, showing a Border Patrol agent grabbing a migrant and slamming him to the ground. “The 38-second video, which depicts onlookers observing the incident, does not show what led up to the apprehension or subsequent events.” A CBP statement cited by CBS reported that the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility is “reviewing the incident.”

The incident happened in the context of a large-scale arrival of migrants to El Paso, some of whom had not turned themselves in to U.S. authorities. Border Patrol agents captured vanloads of migrants during nighttime operations in and near downtown El Paso on January 3 and 4, El Paso Matters reported; NBC News shared video of Border Patrol agents’ sweeps. “You saw the damage afterward. People were crying because they separated families. It was a hard hit. It was emotional. It impacted people,” said a Colombian migrant.

— Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “Video Shows Migrant Being Slammed to Ground during El Paso Arrest.” CBS News, January 7, 2023. <https://www.cbsnews.com/news/el-paso-migrant-arrest-border-agent-on-video/>.

— Ramirez, Cindy. “Tensions Rise, Hope Falls: Border Patrol Detains Migrants near Sacred Heart.” El Paso Matters, January 4, 2023. <http://elpasomatters.org/2023/01/04/border-patrol-detains-migrants-near-south-el-paso-texas-church/>.

— Ainsley, Julia. “Video Shows Border Agents Arresting Migrants Sleeping by Church Shelter.” NBC News, January 7, 2023. <https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/video-border-agents-police-arrest-migrants-church-shelter-rcna64718>.

Sector(s): El Paso

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Use of Force

Accountability Status: Under OPR Investigation

Victim Classification: Single Adult