Late March, 2022

The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) reported about a woman whom Border Patrol expelled to Nogales though she had proof of being raped by her smugglers. The agent, she said, confiscated her medical document:

Border Patrol expelled a young Guatemalan woman to Nogales, Mexico last week despite the fact that she had been repeatedly raped by the guides that brought her across the border into the US. Her attackers threatened her life if she went to the authorities. One Border Patrol agent insinuated that the woman was lying about the attack, and tried to convince her not to undergo a forensic examination that would verify the abuse. When she showed paperwork from the hospital examination to a Border Patrol agent as proof of the attack, asking that he not send her back to Mexico, the Border Patrol agent confiscated the paperwork and did not return it to her.

An October 3, 2022 letter from a coalition of Arizona-based groups, led by ACLU Arizona, to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus included further information about this case.

She handed the one of the Border Patrol agents the paperwork in the hope that it might persuade them to let her apply for asylum, but the agent did not return it and the woman was expelled back to Mexico without the documentation. The Guatemalan consulate later attempted to help the woman apply for a U-Visa since she experienced the crime in the United States, but she no longer had any of the medical documentation to substantiate it.

— “March 31 Update from KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, March 31, 2022).

— Several Arizona Non-Governmental Human Rights Groups. “Letter to CBP Regarding Treatment of Migrants’ Personal Belongings,” October 3, 2022. <>.

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Confiscation of Documents, Denial of Protection to Most Vulnerable, Return of Vulnerable Individuals

Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Female, Guatemala, Sexual Abuse Victim, Single Adult