A local immigrant advocacy group released the stories of migrants who said they’ve faced abuse and violation of their human rights while in U.S. custody.
For 20 years, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) has documented what it calls abuses to migrants by law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border. This year, the group said it’s seeing a spike in allegations.
“If something violated your dignity, the only way you have to start putting some remedy on it is to start telling the story. That’s what we’re doing, telling the story of abuse,” Fernando Garcia, Director of BNHR, said.
BNHR released its report and detailed what it views as abuse of migrants in federal custody.
“They don’t have food, water, medication, they are being mistreated, they’ve been labeled, pushed, physically abused.. but not once. We’re very concerned this is becoming more systemic,” Garcia explained.
The report comes after dozens of human rights documenters went to El Paso and Juarez shelters where they gathered the stories of migrants. They collected 49 reports alleging abuse involving Border Patrol, CBP, OFO, ICE and other entities.
“They’ve been promoting this false narrative that they are criminals and invaders. I think maybe some of these agents and officers believe that, and that’s very unfortunate,” Garcia shared.
CBP gave us a brief statement that said, “Allegations are not facts.”
The agency provided KTSM with this document which details the procedures it follows.
The advocates said they hope Congress can enforce tighter oversight on agent supervision, training and accountability. They also added they’re open to have a dialogue.
“If Border Patrol and CBP, OFO’s are willing to sit down and talk about this, we are ready to do so,” Garcia added.
CBP referenced it has multiple established avenues for the community to register compliments or complaints here.