New Mexico is in the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border region, a culturally and economically vibrant area that more than 15 million Americans call home. Unfortunately, in recent decades the federal government has increasingly militarized the border region, saturating our border communities with tens of thousands of federal agents who have a mandate to operate up to 100 miles from the border. Lacking proper oversight and accountability, these border agents routinely violate the rights of the people living in the border region. The ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights (RCBR), based in Las Cruces, NM, advocates locally, regionally, and nationally to rein in the militarization of our border communities and fights to hold federal agencies accountable.
In recent years, the ACLU of New Mexico has:
Won 1.5 million dollars in settlements on behalf of a New Mexico woman who was subjected to hours of illegal body cavity searches at the direction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.
Advocated for humane living conditions and proper due process for mothers and children held at the Artesia, NM Federal Law Enforcement Training while they sought asylum in the U.S. from violence in the their home countries in Central America.
Filed a complaint on behalf of thirteen border residents, urging the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate abusive treatment by CBP agents at ports of entry in El Paso, Texas, and Southern New Mexico.