Report alleges lack of accountability in U.S. Border Patrol
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — U.S. Border Patrol is under fire accused of not holding agents accountable for misconduct on the job.
The allegations were outlined in a report from the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center.
The non-profit immigration advocacy group found that of 809 complaints filed against Border Patrol agents from 2009 to 2012, disciplinary action was taken in only 13 cases.
The majority of those complaints allege physical abuse and excessive use of force by agents.
Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke agrees with the findings, and recently co-authored legislation with Republican New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce calling for the creation of an independent office to investigate complaints, and also better training for agents.
"There's some cultural issues within that agency where it's been given a tremendous amount of money. We've doubled the size of Border Patrol in the past 7 or 8 years. We've doubled the amount we're spending on securing the border with very little checks and balances in place and I think that attitude of impunity has flowed all the way down to some of these individual agents.
97 percent of the allegations made against agents from 2009 to 2012 were found to be without merit by Border Patrol.
CBP, which includes Border Patrol, released this statement in response to the report:
"The men and women of CBP strive to treat each of the over 1 million people we come into contact with each day with the respect they deserve. All allegations of misconduct are taken seriously."