Mid-March, 2023

Reporting on March 16, 2023, the Nogales-based Kino Border Initiative (KBI) recounted a case of expulsion of vulnerable asylum seekers with CBP One appointments without a chance to talk to an asylum officer, and confiscation of documentation in CBP custody. 

William and Obelia [names changed to protect privacy] each had fled Venezuela and met each other on the journey. In Ciudad Juarez, they were able to schedule an appointment through CBPOne for March 12, but in Nogales, Sonora. They had to travel atop La Bestia (cargo train) to get to the appointment. They arrived at 12 pm for their appointment and each explained that they had lost their original IDs while traveling through the Darien Gap. They each had photocopies of their IDs that family members had sent to them after having lost their originals. The CBP agent detained them both at the Nogales POE – Obelia until 8 pm and William until 3 am. The CBP agent confiscated Obelia’s copy of her ID and the paper she had printed with the appointment confirmation. He said, “Do you think I’d let you enter with this?” and, “You crossed through 8 countries to get here- why didn’t you seek asylum in one of those countries? Why the US?” The agents rejected them both for not having original IDs and expelled them to the streets of Nogales, Obelia at 8 pm and William at 3 am.

— “March 16 update from KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, March 16, 2023).

Sector(s): Tucson Field Office

Agency(ies): Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Confiscation of Documents, Dangerous Deportation, Denial of Access to Asylum

Accountability Status: Unknown

Victim Classification: Single Adult, Venezuela