U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the single largest law enforcement organization in the country, yet it operates in the U.S.-Mexico border region with a remarkable lack of oversight or accountability. Predictably, this has led to a flood of allegations of abuse and wrongdoing, and little to no meaningful consequences. The ACLU-NM Regional Center for Border Rights fights to ensure that when we uncover wrongdoing at the hands of federal border agents, the government swiftly and transparently investigates the problem. In recent years, the RCBR has:
- Urged the government to investigate abusive treatment at CBP ports of entry. Every day, thousands of students, workers and tourists legally cross our ports of entry to do business or visit family. When unprofessional or downright cruel CBP officers humiliate, discriminate and physically or verbally abuse them, their mistreatment and lack of accountability offends American values of equality and justice.
- Demanded that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigate the widespread practice of deporting people without their belongings. The RCBR exposed in a complaint to DHS that the CBP routinely dispossess people of their personal belongings, deporting them to Mexico without money, identification and legal documents, mobile phones, and other important personal possessions, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation.
- Tracked deadly encounters with CBP agents. Since January 2010, the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights has tracked media reports on the individuals who died or were seriously injured after encounters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at our nation’s borders.