July 4, 2020

The Kino Border Initiative reported:

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.”

— “July 9 Update From KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, July 9, 2020).

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

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

Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Family Unit, Guatemala