Border Patrol Helped Smuggle Weapons To El Chapo…Caro Quintero Amparo Denied…El Universal

Today on the front page of El Universal, the declaration of a protected witness in the federal (PGR) case against El Chapo Guzman says that the US Border Patrol escorted trucks of weapons to the border, abandoned the vehicles and assisted members of the Sinaloa Cartel who then took the guns into Mexico. The declarations come from documents in the case as the witness, Javier Sandoval Interial, was assassinated in Mexico City in 2012. The details are pretty clear below in a google translation

Also, it is reported today in El Universal that a judge has denied the “amparo” against extradition for Caro Quintero. That story is also posted below.

Patrulla Fronteriza Apoyó A “El Chapo” (El Universal)

(Click here for Google translation)

Niegan Amparo Al Narcotraficante Caro Quintero (El Universal)

Visit to the Nogales, AZ U.S. B.P. Detention Area for Migrant Children…Kino Border Initiative

This report was sent from Father Sean Carroll of the Kino Border Initiative, located in Nogales. It is reposted here with permission. The listero who sent it my way said that Father Sean is contacting many clergy and media with this message.

Visit to the Nogales, AZ U.S. Border Patrol Station’s

Detention Area for Migrant Children

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sean Carroll, S.J.

 

On Wednesday, June 11, 2014, I accompanied a group of representatives from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, Congressman Raúl Grijalva’s Office, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Office and the Santa Cruz Count Board of Supervisors.

We were first briefed by Mr. George Allen, a representative of the U.S. Border Patrol.  He made the following points:

·         The Office of Refugee Resettlement has been overwhelmed by the number of migrant children crossing into South Texas from Mexico, and has not had adequate space to receive and process so many young people.

·         The decision was made to transport children by plane to Tucson International Airport and then taken by bus to the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Nogales, AZ.

·         Food is being provided three times a day with snacks in between.  A dining hall has been set up where the children can eat.

·         The children range in age from three to seventeen.

·         They can offer showers to sixty children at one time.

·         A play area is being set up in the parking lot for the children.

·         Public health services are available, which include a health screening, vaccinations and blood tests.

·         The plan is to have the children for seventy-two hours and then be transferred to another facility.  If they are over twelve, it will be to a military base.  If they are under twelve, it will be to a facility run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

·         The consuls from the respective countries have access.  Most of the children are from Honduras and El Salvador.

·         At the moment, they have 1,100 children.  Seventy-eight children were transferred yesterday.

·         The children currently sleep on plastic cots, but 2,000 correctional mattresses have been ordered and will be delivered today or tomorrow.

·         140 Border Patrol Agents have come to assist.

During the question and answer period, he made these additional points in response to questions:

·         The United States Public Health Service is available to provide counseling to the children.

·         Customs and Border Protection Chaplains are coming to accompany the children.  They do not appear to want pastoral assistance from the local Nogales community.

·         Televisions are being set up, which will be used to show the “What to Expect” video and to explain their rights.  They will be able to use the televisions for recreational purposes as well.

·         No plan exists at the moment to engage the local community in providing assistance to the children, though we were told that the plan would be forthcoming.  It is likely that the Red Cross will play a role.

We then walked over to the area where the children are staying.  It is a very large warehouse building and part of it is used for the children.  In the parking lot, two tents have been set up where the play/recreational area will be located.

One large truck was outside the warehouse, which was being used to wash clothing.  At least one truck was there containing showers and there were two trucks with toilets and sinks (we could not go inside to see for ourselves).  However, sometime after we entered the warehouse, a group of young girls were escorted in from outside, and it was clear that they had bathed.

The inside of the warehouse had an adequately cool temperature.  To the left as we entered was the area that had been set up for vaccinations and other health services.  There were a line of refrigerators and freezers, presumably for vaccines and other supplies.  An area nearby had also been designated to keep the children’s belongings in large plastic bags.  Also, a number of phones were visible and were being used.  They were available so the children can speak to consular officials and to their families.

We arrived at lunchtime, so groups of 200 children at a time walked in a single line to receive their food and then to eat in the designated area.  Physically, most looked like they were in good condition, adequately clothed and were having their basic needs met.  At the same time, we were not allowed to speak with them, so it was difficult to assess how they were doing psychologically and spiritually.

The next step is to keep communicating with FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to develop and implement a plan that clarifies the children’s needs and provides people the opportunity to respond to them.  Once we have some direction, then we will make that information available on our web site and on our Facebook page.  We will send out an e-mail blast as well.

I know this report does not answer all the questions, but hopefully it gives a clearer sense of the overall condition of the children and of the place where they are staying at the moment.

Thanks so much for all your generous offers of support.  We are so grateful.

Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Report Serious Abuse by U.S. Officials During Detention…ACLU

The cases detailed in this ACLU complaint predate the current wave of child migrants and their detention. So far, there has been little access to the hundreds of minors now being detained in Nogales, Arizona and at other facilities in Texas and California.

Below are a series of articles from the local newspaper in Nogales. I took a few photos outside of the Border Patrol station on Tuesday, though it is not easy to see enough to know exactly which building is where the children are being held. But, for those not familiar with Nogales, it will give at least an idea what the facility and surroundings look like. Photos at the link below. -Molly

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/101512747186306511699/albums/6023777000120646465

 

Report From Nogales

Below is an update on some efforts in the southern Arizona religious/humanitarian community to gain access to the Nogales Border Patrol facility to provide aid to the children there. Below that is a CNN report that seems pretty “fair and balanced.”
Attached is a letter to the White House from Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva.

I visited the site of the warehousing of the children in Nogales today… There were some media there hoping for a photo or a press conference, but no one is being allowed in. What I was able to see is essentially the same as the report from CNN. A gate, a lot of trucks going in an out, a large warehouse-type facility within the perimeter of the Border Patrol station. I did not see any “FEMA trailers left over from Katrina” anywhere and suspect that is a right-wing rumor based on the hysterical reporting from the sites mentioned below… I’ve seen lots of those trailers dumped on roadsides in Louisiana. I seriously doubt that any of them would be worth moving to Arizona. There is a lot of warehouse space in Nogales, Arizona, so I imagine if the government needs more, they could find it. Making it liveable for the people being housed there might take some time. And for what it’s worth, to the best of my knowledge, unaccompanied minors have never been quickly deported from the US. The law requires that they be treated as refugees, that they be reunited with parents if parents can be located. The large numbers of people coming now will take some time to process.

And, the right-wing media (Townhall and Breitbart and FOX) now report that some border patrol officers have been fired or threatened with firing for releasing pictures from inside the Texas detention facilities to the media… See:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/06/exclusive-illegal-children-sleeping-in-cages-as-arizona-border-patrol-resources-continue-to-be-overwhelmed-n1848469

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/09/nogales-border-patrol-station-cracks-down-on-agents-threatens-firings-over-leaked-unaccompanied-children-photos-n1849201?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

AND FOX: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/06/09/leaked-photos-show-undocumented-immigrants-held-in-alarming-conditions/

_____________
Molly—thanks for this article. The media coverage about the children being housed in Nogales is confusing and sometimes confounding. The facts as I know it:

1) Fr. Sean Carroll, executive director of Kino Border Initiative, a key organization in humanitarian efforts at the border, was refused access to the warehouse facility in Nogales, AZ. on Thursday, Friday, and throughout the weekend. He contacted Border Patrol officials, FEMA, and others about what KBI and other humanitarian groups can do to alleviate the situation. No response.
2) Today, Monday, he made contact with Rev. David Meyers of FEMA and a conference call has been set up for Tuesday, June 10, to set up a protocol for providing aid to the children.
3) Journalists have not been allowed into the building (a warehouse), but have seen children from ages 1-18 coming out of the compound after meals. Older children have younger toddlers and a few infants in tow.
4) The Samaritans and other groups are gathering clothes, toys, games, for the kids.
5) The State agencies are being told that this is a federal matter, and so they are also not being allowed into the warehouse to see what is going on. Exception: a few State legislators did see where the children eat, but not where they sleep. One said it is a “sad situation.” FEMA, HHS and Homeland Security are the chief players in this drama.
6) I will be in Nogales, Sonora, tomorrow working at el comedor, the shelter for recently deported migrants. I plan to drive over to the warehouse in Arizona and see for myself what is going on. Of course, I don’t expect to be allowed in, but I want to check it out.
7) June 10 there will be the monthly vigil for Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the 17 year old that was shot and killed by Border Patrol in 2012. A lot of Americans will be there to memorialize this young man as well as protest present US immigration policies.
8) No one seems to know what the plan is for these children. There are attempts to reunite them with families here in the US and back in their home country. The general consensus is that this situation is not going to go away. More children and women will be arriving in large numbers.

__________________________________

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/08/us/arizona-dhs-undocumented-children-moved/

Refugees Coming To El Paso, More To Arizona…

June 7: Below are several more reports on the current numbers of Central American refugees entering the US. Though the AP story from last night (second in list below) says that people will continue to be sent to Arizona, ICE officials as well as some workers with the Catholic diocese refugee services and others in the religious communities serving immigrants in El Paso have said that buses and planes will begin bringing some of these people to El Paso starting today…

As for the reasons these folks are coming in such numbers, I believe that we cannot discount fact that people talk to each other along the route and these communications (true and otherwise) have some influence on the decisions people make. As far as the dangers they face traveling through Mexico, there is ample evidence that many migrants are killed or go missing along the way. There is no safe route (other than in a commercial flight which poor people cannot afford) across Mexico for these people, yet we know that in recent years more and more have attempted the journey despite the dangers.

There have been other large-scale movements of people from Central America into the US in past years…the kinds of movements that make it difficult or impossible for ICE to detain them all and so they will be released on condition that they report to immigration later.  Hurricane Mitch in 1998 for example caused large numbers of people to leave the region and many were given temporary protected status in the US:

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=ee5a15c67fb5ca48d49d489f0b0d375c

People are now fleeing war-like conditions caused by criminal activities in the region and the government malfeasance. Poverty is at the root of why most people migrate and that is true in the current situation as well. molly

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25916964/el-paso-may-see-an-influx-undocumented-immigrants

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-agency-flying-migrant-families-arizona-24036894?singlePage=true

UPDATE (June 8): There is a lot of in-depth information in the report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops trip to Central America in Nov 2013. This report was cited in a previous posting. I note that it does have links to some statistics from US authorities on the numbers of unaccompanied children apprehended in previous years. It is available here:

http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-policy/upload/Mission-To-Central-America-FINAL-2.pdf

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25921825/planes-carrying-130-people-land-el-paso

UPDATE (June 8): Apparently, there are at least 270–not 130–immigrants who have been flown to El Paso from the Rio Grande Valley. The situation is changing rapidly and according to a media person who wrote to me personally, the CBP officials are not giving many statements to reporters, but there should be updates tomorrow.

The Annunciation House press conference on the local faith community response will be Monday at 1:30 pm at CASA VIDES, 325 Leon Street in El Paso. molly

Q & A with author Todd Miller

Todd Miller is  a Tucson-based freelance journalist who has covered the U.S.- Mexico border for the last 15 years for publications including The Nation, NACLA Report on the Americas, and Mother Jones. His first book, Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Homeland Security explores border security post 9/11 and examines what he calls the “new world border.”  To learn more, visit his website.

**********************************************************************************************************************

You’ve been reporting about the border for several years now, what made you decide to focus on border patrol and what surprised you the most in your findings?

One of the first acts of journalism that I did was photograph a crew from the U.S. Army corps of engineers when they were building the wall between Douglas and Agua Prieta in the late 1990s. That was when Border Patrol was concentrating agents and technology, and building walls in the urban areas along the 2,000 mile U.S. Mexico border. Then in 2001 I was working for a binational organization in Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora when 9/11 hit. With this, I witnessed first hand the advent of the homeland security era of the Border Patrol. The results of this have been nothing less than startling.

For Border Patrol Nation, I interviewed public information officers in places like Puerto Rico, El Paso, Tucson, and Detroit. However, I also interviewed many individual agents who had a wide range of perspectives. I interviewed from the most gung-ho to those with serious critiques about the agency. I met their kids, and went to their homes. I found that most agents think that they are in an insular world, and nobody really understands what they do. Many feel they are criticized by all sides of the political spectrum. I felt like when I was able to humanize the agent, I was able to see that they were only a small part— though a powerful part—of a much bigger world. Border Patrolling has become an industry, a technological innovation, a problem to be “solved” by engineers. There are many, many people of all perspectives involved with this domestic national security monolith, of which Border Patrol by virtue of its uniformed presence is its most public face. That was one surprise. The other surprise was when this world revealed itself, I saw that it was much bigger, and had penetrated the country (and more and more the world) in more startling and powerful ways than I was even aware of. To find these angles became, in a sense, one of the prime missions of the book.

Could you explain what you mean by the “new world border”?

This term comes from a chapter where I spend quite a bit of time on the Dominican Haiti international boundary. There, before my eyes, was a rustic version of the U.S.-Mexico border. Along the Massacre River, which demarcates the divide between the two countries that share the same island, were protest barricades placed crookedly and serving as a rudimentary barricade. Behind the barricades the Dominican Border Patrol, known as CESFRONT, sat their Xs, watching their sections of border like agents in the United States. When I asked these Dominican agents if they had received training from the U.S. Border Patrol they said yes. Not only has there been training, but also the United States sent resources. In fact, the whole idea that the Dominican Republic needed its own border patrol came from a U.S. report issued in 2006. Turns out, the United States, and its Border Patrol, has done trainings across the globe in more than 100 different countries. And it further turns out that the global market for border security is in an “unprecedented growth period,” hundreds of billions of dollars potentially. From Asia to Africa, from the Middle East to southern Europe, from Brazil to Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, hardened enforced boundaries are becoming the norm, particularly between the global south (and its different gradations—the Dominicans can police the Haitians, but the Dominicans need to be policed by the United States) with the global north. As former Customs and Border Protection chief David Aguilar said, Border Patrol’s work in the “hemisphere” is to protect “our way of life.”

You say that since 9/11,  Border Patrol has more than doubled its ranks, has roughly 21,000 agents nationwide and continues to expand. What do you see as the outcome of this growth and expansion?

At a recent community meeting on the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona the speaker—who was looking into Homeland Security abuse on the Nation–asked a group of approximately 100 O’odham seated there how many had been pulled over by the U.S. Border Patrol. For those that don’t know, the Tohono O’odham reservation shares a 70 mile border with Mexico, but their aboriginal land extend hundreds of miles into Mexico. When the borderline was drawn through its territory in 1853, the O’odham were not consulted. Yet, for years, and up until around 9/11 the O’odham simply ignored the boundary line, crossing back and forth to visit family, go to school, go to work, go to cultural and ceremonial sites. Up until the 1990s there was almost no Border Patrol presence (the agency began in 1924).

Now, at that community meeting, every single person raised their hand. Every single person had been pulled over, at least once, by Border Patrol. The degree of the shift of the Homeland Security presence on the Tohono O’odham Nation is a perfect reflection of Border Patrol growth. If you were to go to the O’odham reservation right now, you might see more green-striped Border Patrol vehicles, than normal ones. There are ATV and horse patrols. There are surveillance towers and surveillance drones overhead. There are Blackhawk helicopters and military style Forward Operating Bases.

People on the rez are complaining of tailgating, of Border Patrol spotlighting into their vehicles at night. People talk of interrogations, being pulled out of their cars, of being pepper sprayed. On all paved roads leading out of the reservation there are checkpoints: Heading west towards Phoenix in Gila Bend, Heading north to Casa Grand, Heading east to Tucson. If you speak the Tohono O’odham language to the agents, like Tohono O’odham member Ofelia Rivas, expect secondary and your car to be searched. You will be detained. This is one of the sharpest examples—but only one example of many– of the giant Homeland Security complex spreading across the country into many places—including places where it had very little presence before such as Rochester, New York or Erie, Pennsylvania. Since this type of expansion is basically unquestioned, unless more people step up and challenge it, we can only expect more of the same.

Could you talk more about the Border Patrol youth programs?

In every city and town on the southern U.S. border, and increasingly in the north are programs that the U.S. Border Patrol has with youth. One of these is called the Explorer program, which comes from the Boy Scouts of America. With the Border Patrol, teenagers learn handcuffing techniques and with “red guns” (fake guns) take down potential terrorists and other threats. They learn how to do interrogations (or “field interviews” as Border Patrol calls them) and to question people about their documents. When I met with the Explorer post in El Paso at dawn, they were doing uniform inspections, and then marched in lock step around the Border Patrol Training Center. The kids learn what it takes to become an agent. And, as many agents have pointed out, Border Patrol can identify possible recruits for an agency that is always expanding and always on the lookout for more agents.

But there is more to the creating of the fertile ground upon which the homeland security state can grow. As one of the agents working with the kids told me—it’s more than recruiting. He told me about the Thanksgiving parade in El Paso. He said that when the Border Patrol marched at that parade, they would get a mixed reaction at best. But, he said, a couple years ago the youth Explorer post began to march right along with them. The applause from the crowd was wild. The families, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends of the kids were all in the audience. The kids, this agent told me, were “the key” to Border Patrol’s relationship with the community.

You write, “Predawn house raids have become a routine tactic for ICE, it’s a time when most people are at their most vulnerable: at home and unconscious.” Why do you think the Homeland Security agents have been using such tactics?

The predawn raid is a military tactic to get to somebody when they are at their most defenseless. The Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic documents cases of ICE agents storming into people’s homes– in one occasion pulling the covers off of a sleeping woman, shining a bright flashlight into her face and her child’s face who began to wail in terror. In another incident, in Massachusetts, ICE agents kicked in the front door of a house, leaving splintered wooden fragments on the floor. Like in a war, they commanded every one to lie down and stay still. They shined bright lights directly into people’s faces. These tactics, and others– such as Border Patrol agents shooting into and killing people in Mexico—give credence to the idea that Homeland Security is acting in some sort of war posture, even in their domestic operations. The priority mission of Customs and Border Protection, for example, in the post 9/11 era is to stop “terrorists” and “weapons of mass destruction” from penetrating our borders. They are on the front lines, the rhetoric goes. They have lots of weaponry and high-powered and sophisticated surveillance equipment at their disposal. They have drones flying overhead, some with radar systems imported from U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, such as the VADER system. They have high-tech war rooms with expensive video walls for “situational awareness.” The tactics of war are very much a part of today’s Homeland Security operations. Predawn raids are just one part of that.

What would you propose as a solution?

What I know, first and foremost, that a much more holistic dialogue is needed which includes a variety of voices such as those most impacted by the Border Patrol expansion like the Tohono O’odham people mentioned above. The notion, even the term “border security” I believe needs to be challenged. It implies that this expanding security monolith is indeed protecting “us” from some sort of ill-defined “them” who are out to get us. By far the brunt of Border Patrol arrests are of people who are coming north to find a job. People who probably didn’t want to leave their communities, their loved ones, the food that they eat, and the language that they speak, but felt their hand was forced by an untenable economic situation or a situation of spiraling violence and threat—or both—speaks to the need for a much more profound analysis around the immigration debate.

The fact that the immigration reform bill (passed in the Senate a year ago) is more than 1000 pages long– and with the Hoeven-Corker amendment includes a provision for $46 billion designated to “border security”–with no mention at all about, say, the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement in Mexico, seems like an omission of extraordinary proportions. If U.S. economic policy– or say a set of policies such as IMF structural adjustment (in effect in Mexico since 1982)–has anything at all to do with anyone losing their livelihood and having to move or migrate in order to find work, such policies need to be scrutinized. And this needs to be a part of any immigration reform debate. In the immigration debates, and thus the immigration reform bills, this part of it is so roundly ignored that to bring it up almost seems like you are coming from left field, and at times openly disdained.

However it was former INS chief Doris Meissner who argued to Congress in 1993—indeed she was arguing for the militarized border apparatus that we see now with Operations Hold-the-Line, Gatekeeper, and Safeguard—who said “Responding to the likely short- to medium-term impacts of NAFTA will require strengthening our enforcement efforts along the border.” Before it even happened, Meissner prophesied Mexico’s post-NAFTA exodus.

Right now economic systems in the world are structured in such a way that we are seeing unprecedented inequality, few extremely rich and many, many poor. The solution lies in a wider discussion that includes unprecedented world-wide inequality as an important reason why so many people are migrating and that treats cross-border immigration as an international issue.

With the constant talk of immigration reform, how do you hope your book will inform policy makers?

Border Patrol Nation offers a contribution to an ever-evolving landscape, and I hope it indeed will inform both our policy-makers and their constituents and at least contribute to a more robust debate. The idea that the debate around “border security” is one that occurs at the fringes has to stop. The idea that money is continually thrown to this border fortifying initiative without much debate at all needs to stop. If there’s one contribution that my book makes at this level, it is at the very least that this debate needs to happen. But I also hope the book drives home the point that this debate is also important to the very direction of our country and to what we are becoming.

If people were to take just one thing from this book, what do you think that should be?

Aren’t there much more important things—such as basic services like education, housing, or public transportation—where we can put the billions designated now to Homeland Security? If there is a security crisis in the United States it is that people are losing their homes, their jobs, their transportation. It is not from a non-existent terrorist lurking on the other side of an international boundary line.

 

 

 

Drug Dealer’s Daughter Recalls A Luxurious Life On Both Sides Of The Border, Before It All Crashed…Borderzine

Drug Dealer’s Daughter Recalls A Luxurious Life On Both Sides Of The Border, Before It All Crashed

Nadia Rivas on May 2, 2014

EL PASO — Luz relaxes in a chair and taps the table with her fingertips as she begins to reveal startling details about her unique life as the child of a powerful Juarez drug cartel member.

Reminiscing about her childhood brings a smile to her face. She lived a life that was close to perfect, she says, full of luxuriesexpensive clothes, cars, parties, entertainment, and any wish she desired.

“You get used to having a lot of stuff, good stuff,” says Luz, 24, who asked that her name not be revealed. “I never remember hearing my mom say, ‘no we can’t get that because we don’t have money.’”

At the same time, she admits, it was difficult for her mother to teach her and her younger brother strong ethics and values because of her father’s criminal activity.

“We weren’t following any of the rules, any of the laws,” said the petite 24-year-old with light-brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. “I was always told I couldn’t talk about what my dad did, which involved the drug cartels.“

Read the full article here.

HRW Research on Custom and Border Protection Officer Abuses: Info Request

Dear Listmates,

Human Rights Watch is investigating allegations of discriminatory and or abusive treatment by Customs and Border Protection Officers, including the Border Patrol and port of entry agents, in the borderlands and at border crossings.  We are interested in highlighting in particular the effects of border enforcement practices on border communities on the northern and southern borders.

We would greatly appreciate your assistance in identifying cases and affected individuals or their representatives who would be interested in participating in the research. The description of the project is pasted below and in this  flyer. Please share widely, and please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions.

Thank you very much,

Clara

Clara Long

Researcher, US Program 

Human Rights Watch

100 Bush St. Ste. 925

San Francisco, CA 94104

+1 (415) 527 0212 (work)

+1 (510) 882-0900 (Cell)

longc@hrw.org

http://www.hrw.org/en/united-states

 

Human Rights Watch is interested in speaking with people who have personal stories or direct knowledge of discriminatory, abusive, intimidating, or unlawful treatment or practices by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in the border region (the Border Patrol) and at border crossings (Office of Field Operations).

 

We are interested in cases involving both US citizens and non-citizens.   We are also seeking information about agency accountability for abuses, including the efficacy of CBP complaint mechanisms.

 

Human Rights Watch is an international, independent nonprofit organization that defends the rights of people worldwide. We cannot provide legal representation in any individual case, but our goal is to publish these accounts in a report and to ensure anyone interacting with federal immigration and border enforcement agencies is treated in a manner that respects their human rights.

 

We plan to conduct interviews along the northern and southern borders or by phone. If you would like to keep your identity confidential, we can change your name and any identifying details.

 

For more information on this project, please visit our Facebook page For more information on our ongoing and past work on protecting the human rights of immigrants and their families in the United States, please see our website

**Español**

Human Rights Watch desea contactar a personas que tengan historias personales o conocimiento directo de trato discriminatorio, abusivo, intimidatorio o ilegal por parte de agentes de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) a lo largo de la franja fronteriza (Border Patrol) y en los puertos de control de la frontera (Office of Field Operations).

 

Estamos interesados tanto en casos de ciudadanos, como de no ciudadanos estadounidenses. También deseamos obtener información sobre los procesos de rendición de cuentas por abusos y la eficacia de los mecanismos de denuncia por parte de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza.

 

Human Rights Watch es una organización sin fines de lucro internacional e independiente que defiende los derechos humanos de las personas en todo el mundo. Nuestra organización no ofrece representación legal en caso individual, pero nuestro objetivo es exigir cambios en la legislación y las políticas estadounidenses para garantizar que todos las personas sean tratadas con respeto a sus derechos humanos por parte de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza.

 

Si desea compartir su experiencia o conocimiento de casos particulares o si tiene alguna pregunta envíe un correo electrónico o llame a Clara Long, investigadora del Programa de EE.UU.

Clara Long

Human Rights Watch

100 Bush St. Ste 925

San Francisco, CA 94107

longc@hrw.org

510-882-0900

 

Nuestra intención es llevar a cabo entrevistas en toda la region fronteriza o por telefono. Si desea mantener en el anonimato su identidad estamos en la mejor disposición de cambiar su nombre y datos personales de identificación.

Para obtener más información sobre este proyecto, por favor visite nuestro Facebook página.  Para obtener más información sobre nuestro trabajo en curso o nuestros proyectos anteriores en materia de protección de los derechos humanos de los inmigrantes y sus familias en los Estados Unidos, por favor visite nuestro sitio web en inglés o en español

 

 

ACLU demands halt to alleged harassment of checkpoint monitors in Arivaca…AZStar

ACLU Demands Halt To Alleged Harassment Of Checkpoint Monitors In Arivaca

(Perla Trevizo / Arizona Star)

A group of Arivaca residents are not giving up on their efforts to have a Border Patrol checkpoint removed from their community.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter Wednesday to Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Manuel Padilla to “immediately cease interfering with lawful protest and monitoring of the Arivaca Road checkpoint and respect the civil rights of all residents and motorists at Border Patrol checkpoints.”

The ACLU is ready to sue if the agency does not allow residents to exercise their First Amendment rights, said James Lyall, the organization’s attorney in Tucson.

Since Feb. 26, groups of at least three people have showed up to the checkpoint 25 miles north of the border with a sign that reads: “checkpoint monitoring to deter abuse and gather data” and a video camera.

But the residents said agents immediately harassed them and ordered them to stand far from the checkpoint, where they can’t see or hear anything.

Among other things, the ACLU letter said the agents have:

  • Placed “no pedestrian” signs, barriers and rope blocking the public right of way.
  • Threatened to arrest them.
  • Parked their vehicles to further obstruct view of the photographers and protesters.
  • On one occasion, left a Border Patrol vehicle running for several hours, blowing exhaust in the faces of the monitors.

Customs and Border Protection said in an emailed statement that the issues raised in the letter are being investigated. It said it could not comment further because “it is not the practice of the agency to discuss matters under the investigative process.”

“If they are in the area where agents are performing their duties, I can see how that would cause not only an officer-safety issue but a safety issue to the general public,” said Art del Cueto, president of the agents’ union in the Tucson Sector, the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544. “I’ve been involved in incidents where you send someone to secondary inspection and they are carrying drugs or people as contraband and speed out of the checkpoint driving erratically. I can see how people standing by it could get hurt.”

The process used by the agency to handle complaints works well, he said.

Residents say the checkpoint is a source of rights violations, racial profiling, harassment, unwarranted searches and economic deterioration.

People have to go through the checkpoint when they go shopping, have a doctor’s appointment or take their children to school, said Patricia Miller, who has lived in the Arivaca area for 36 years and volunteers to monitor the checkpoint.

“You never know what kind of attitudes you are going to get when you go through,” she said. “They don’t let agents get familiarized with the community. They are stopping people who have lived here for years.”

Last year, the Arivaca group of residents launched a campaign to demand the removal of the Arivaca Road checkpoint — one of three Border Patrol checkpoints that surround the town. The petition was signed by over 200 people and 10 businesses, about a third of the population. U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva also wrote a letter of support.

Padilla responded by saying the agency could not remove the checkpoint because it was a lawful and effective tool to secure the border, but he encouraged them to bring to his attention any specific incidents regarding local residents and the checkpoint.

In January, the ACLU of Arizona also filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Homeland Security regarding alleged abuses at six Southern Arizona checkpoints, including the checkpoint on Arivaca Road.

Lyall said the ACLU got a response saying the claims were being investigated. It did not include a timeline.

“Until we actually see some results or actions, we remain very concerned that there are effectively no real accountability mechanisms in place,” he said.

Residents plan to keep monitoring the checkpoint in four-hour shifts.

Border communities thrown under the bus by politicians…BNHR response

I am certain that there will be many stories today on the immigration hearings underway in Congress. Instead of that, I’m forwarding this statement from Fernando Garcia, Director of the Border Network for Human Rights and an excellent NPR piece from Sunday featuring interviews with the Mayors of El Paso and Laredo. The gist of the interviews was that the border has never been more secure. This is the same information that the FBI and the DHS and other US officials have insisted on for years now. molly
Border communities thrown under the bus by politicians
Response from the border to today’s immigration hearing in the House

(EL PASO, Texas) —  There was a lot of talk about border security from leaders of both parties at today’s immigration hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, it was all rhetoric from people who don’t seem to understand the reality of the border.

The usual suspects such as Republicans Rep. Lamar Smith and Rep. Steve King called for “securing the borders,” despite the massive enforcement of the last several years. But we also saw Democrats Rep. John Conyers and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro conceding that “more must be done.”

Worse yet, Republicans specifically fail to recognize what has been done: 22,000 boots on the ground, 6,400 miles of fencing and walls, the deployment of the National Guard and military units, increasing the use of military technology including unmanned drones, and $18 billion spent on immigration enforcement last year alone.

“It’s very interesting to us on the border that the only people talking about border security at today’s hearing were politicians. While the panel experts wanted to talk about solutions, some politicians would rather talk about the boogie man of border security. This shows how out of touch the committee is with the reality of the border,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of BNHR. “We are living under the massive buildup of enforcement from the last several years on the border. And while these politicians want to talk border security, they seem unwilling and unable to talk about the consequences of it. These consequences include civil and human rights violations in our communities, migrant deaths and families torn apart.”

Border Network welcomes the committee to learn more about the border.

“Rep. Conyers said he would like the committee to visit the border and we think they should come on down and learn the truth before proposing politically-motivated ideas that have real life and death consequences for our community,” said Garcia.