May 12, 2021

A report from the Border Network for Human Rights included the testimony of “M.A.,” who said she was invasively strip-searched by CBP Field Operations personnel at El Paso’s Santa Fe (Paso del Norte Bridge) Port of Entry.

My nightmare started on Wednesday, May 12, at 2:00 p.m., when I was coming over by the Paso del Norte Port of Entry. I was coming from Juárez because I had surgery on one eye. I had to wear special glasses.

The CBP officer started questioning me and asking me why I was so nervous. To which I responded, “I just had an eye surgery, and I can’t be without my glasses for long.” The CBP officer then asked if I had illegal drugs on me. I told her I had nothing on me. The CBP officer then sent me to get inspected in a room where they touched my whole body, including my private parts. I felt so bad and humiliated. I did not deserve to be treated that way. I felt like they took advantage of me; I felt so helpless.

The Border Network for Human Rights stated that it shared this and other testimonies in its February 2022 abuse monitoring report “with the agencies involved.”

The State of Human Rights at the U.S. – Mexico Border: Abuse Documentation 2022 Campaign Report (El Paso, Border Network for Human Rights, February 22, 2022)

Sector(s): El Paso Field Office

Agency(ies): Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Wrongful Strip Search

Accountability Status: Unknown

Victim Classification: Female, Single Adult, U.S. Citizen or Resident