US Customs and Border Protection has been called America’s most corrupt and out-of-control law enforcement agency, with a reputation for regularly overstepping the bounds of their authority, using excessive force, and detaining people under inhumane conditions. Recent headlines about CBP abuses have involved “rape tables”, a teenage boy dying after being told to drink liquid meth, sexual assaults against minors at the border, and much more. As an updated report from the American Immigration Council describes, such alleged abuses occur with regularity and rarely result in serious disciplinary action. The report is called Still No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse, and includes data on 2,178 cases of alleged CBP misconduct between January 2012 and October 2015.
The report found that:
- 95.9% of the 1,255 cases in which an outcome was reported resulted in “no action” against the officer or agent accused of misconduct.
- The complaints contain allegations of many forms of abuse, with “physical abuse” cited as the reason for the complaint in 59.4% of all cases.
- “No action” was the outcome of many complaints against Border Patrol agents that alleged serious misconduct, such as running a person over with a vehicle, making physical threats, sexually assaulting a woman in a hospital, and denying medical attention to children.
According the report, the highest complaint rates (per number of apprehensions) came from the Yuma (Arizona), Big Bend (Texas), and El Paso (Texas) sectors.
The report comes just after this weekend’s 20/20 report entitled “Life or Death at the Border”, which made headlines for featuring video of two CBP officers appearing to encourage a 16-year-old boy to drink liquid meth. The boy died shortly afterward, and the two officers are still on the job today. A copy of the segment can be found on YouTube: