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“The Border Patrol Has Become a Rogue Agency”

by Mahwish Khan on 11/03/2011 at 11:19am

Border PatrolVery powerful op-ed in The Hill, written by Professor Randall McGuire about the Border Patrol titled, Border Patrol abuses of human rights must be stopped. McGuire analyzes the report, A Culture of CrueltyAbuse And Impunity In Short-Term U.S. Border Patrol Custody,” which was issued earlier this year by the group, No More Deaths. We wrote about the report, when it was released in September, here.

Professor McGuire cuts right to the problem with Border Patrol. It’s a “rogue agency”:

Rather than these abuses being the work of a few rogue agents, the Border Patrol has become a rogue agency. The report draws on interviews with almost 13,000 deportees conducted over 2.5 years. Deportees consistently report the same abuses. Some shared José Miguel’s experiences of physical injury, verbal abuse, and the withholding of food, water and medical care. Many others reported being separated from their families, being endangered in the desert by Border Patrol’s aggressive “dusting” tactic, not having credentials and money returned to them, being repatriated at night in a dangerous city, and being housed in unsanitary, overcrowded holding pens. Increasingly, deportees report psychological abuses that meet the definition of torture under international law.

Existing policies under the Department of Homeland Security for the treatment of individuals in custody and an international agreement between the United States and México concerning the treatment of Mexican deportees forbid these abuses.  Despite this fact, inadequate procedures exist within the Border Patrol for identifying and correcting systematic abuse.

The abuses continue as part of United States border policy. 

McGuire is right: “the Border Patrol has become a rogue agency.” Who is going to rein it in?

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