News
Kino Border Initiative Report Shows Pattern of ‘Failed Oversight’ in Customs and Border Protection Complaints Process

July 12, 2017 — A new report from the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and the Jesuits of Canada and the United States reveals the inadequacy of the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) complaint and oversight system in investigating abuse allegations by migrants.

KBI, an immigrant aid organization in Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, co-sponsored by the Jesuits and five other U.S. and Mexican church groups, files complaints on behalf of individuals in their aid center who report having been mistreated during their migration journey. “Intake without Oversight: Firsthand Experiences with Customs and Border Protection Complaints Process” is based on findings from 49 complaints filed by KBI from October 2015 to March 2017. Of these 49, KBI was notified of findings for only 13.

“Investment in an effective oversight process is necessary both to protect the human dignity of individuals crossing the border and to enhance the training and professionalism of agents and officers,” said Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, executive director of KBI.

Despite some progress in improving the complaint process, KBI found that most complaints were only investigated by management at the local level and not by the independent oversight bodies tasked with accountability, such as the Office of the Inspector General.

The report highlights several cases, including a 21-year-old who alleges he was dragged and punched by Border Patrol in November 2015 and was not allowed to file a complaint while in Border Patrol custody. After KBI filed a complaint on his behalf that same month, the only communication it received was a notification from the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that the complaint was included in their information collection.

Another case is of a woman who was eight months pregnant and had an injured ankle when she was detained by Border Patrol in December 2015. While in custody, she informed agents that she was pregnant and asked for food and medical attention. She received undercooked food and crackers every six hours and no medical care. When KBI filed a complaint on her behalf in January 2016, the local station found it to be unsubstantiated because agents did not notice that she was pregnant and said they did not remember hearing requests for food or medical attention.

The report also offers a look at the types of abuse reported, including failure to refer migrants to the asylum process (22 complaints); denial of medical care (12); use of force (10); and family separation (10).

KBI said its experience with the complaint process “reflects a pattern of failed oversight that necessitates reform by the Department of Homeland Security and the US Congress.” The report recommends increasing funding for the Office of Professional Responsibility; establishing a complaint hotline accessible from CBP holding cells; and regularly recording interviews between migrants and Border Patrol agents.

To read the full report, click here. To join the KBI and Jesuit Conference in calling for accountability to ensure human dignity at the border, contact your elected officials.





Recent News

June 22, 2020 — Through this examen, we will start the work of antiracism by examining how systemic racism influences our lives and how we practice the sin of racism.

June 19, 2020 —The Society of Jesus is proud to announce the ordination of 15 new priests in Canada, the United States and Haiti this calendar year.

June 15, 2020 — Mornings at Pope Francis Center start just after 6 a.m. The skeleton crew of workers line up to have their temperature checked, then they change into work clothes.

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

June 8, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Br. Edward C. Gill, SJ, who died on June 6, 2020, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 86 years old. May he rest in peace.

May 28, 2020 — The global pandemic has forced everyone to go digital. Spiritual direction — confidential, guided discernment of God — has not stopped. Rather, just like the persons who employ the Exercises, spiritual direction has pivoted online.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2020

Jesuits Fall Winter 2019

Jesuits Summer 2019



Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House
Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House is located on 80 acres of gently rolling meadows and wooded countryside just 40 miles northwest of Chicago.