November 13, 2021

A report from the Border Network for Human Rights included the testimony of “A.V.R.N.,” who had prescription medication taken away by CBP Field Operations personnel at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico, west of El Paso.

In the past months, I had surgery on my leg. On Nov. 13, I went for a follow-up to Juarez so they could remove the nails from my leg. While at the doctor’s, I was prescribed Tramadol with Ketorolac for the pain because I had severe pain. I bought a box with ten pills.

At the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, the officer, who seemed to be of Latin origin, asked me if I was bringing back money or medicine supposedly because he saw me on crutches. I told him I did have medicine with me and showed him the prescription.

The officer then sent me to secondary inspection and told me to step out of the car. After struggling, I was able to get out of the car, and three more officers showed up. An Anglo, a Hispanic female officer, and one Hispanic male officer around 50-60 years old. This last officer was the one who did not allow me to bring in my medicine. The other two officers kept asking him to allow me to bring my medication since I had a prescription and it was only ten pills, which I really needed. But he refused, stating that the prescription was not valid in the U.S. and that the pills were like bringing in weed.

That night I was in so much pain because I could only take Tylenol for my pain.

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): Denial of Medical Care, Non-Return of Belongings

Accountability Status: Unknown

Victim Classification: Single Adult