30,000 Documented Abuses of Migrants is Enough - End the Border Patrol's Culture of Cruelty|Start an Online Petition »
30,000 Documented Abuses of Migrants is Enough: End the Border Patrol's Culture of Cruelty
Dear President Obama,
I am gravely concerned about rampant human rights violations perpetrated by the U.S. Border Patrol. I urge you to immediately intervene to establish binding short-term custody standards, along with independent oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.
No More Deaths’ September 2011 report, A Culture of Cruelty: Abuse & Impunity in Border Patrol Short-Term Custody, demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the Border Patrol is responsible for widespread human rights violations of those in their custody. Tens of thousands have reported being denied food, water, and urgent medical care; inhumane detention conditions; suffering verbal, physical, and psychological abuse; and being separated from their families. The report also documents dangerous transportation practices and repatriation practices and the Border Patrol’s failure to return belongings or respect due process.
These abuses are consistent with disturbing patterns of Border Patrol misconduct documented by immigrant rights advocates around the country. They are part of a national crisis, along with anti-immigrant state legislation, Secure Communities, and other programs that entangle local law enforcement in immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security has consistently failed to monitor its own agents, creating a culture of cruelty that excuses mistreatment in detention and deportation. No More Deaths, along with other border-based partner organizations, has made a good faith effort to bring these concerns to the existing oversight system through the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security. Not one complaint has resulted in any change. These efforts demonstrate DHS’ well-documented failure to effectively monitor its agents and hold them accountable for abusive behavior. Your administration’s continued endorsement of increased border and immigration enforcement funding in this context perpetuates these cycles of abuse, and is an affront to justice, fairness, and equality.
I urge you to:
-Convene a meeting with human rights advocates and the Chief of the Border Patrol to identify additional measures needed to end Border Patrol abuse
- Publicly state your administration’s opposition to systemic Border Patrol abuse
- Enact binding standards of treatment for those in Border Patrol custody, and
- Establish independent oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.