Customs and Border Protection officers accused of abuse
Fri, 11 May 2012 02:51:11 GMT —
Nearly a dozen people have filed a complaint against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the ports of entry along the US-Mexico border. In The American Civil Liberties Union 17 page report, the alleged victims, both US citizens and legal residents, cite human rights abuses, excessive force, ignoring due process and illegally confiscating property.
Five of those alleged victims are represented by Brownsville Immigration Attorney Jaime Diaz.
It TMs definitely a violation of human rights if you are going to be accusing someone of not having their most precious thing, which is your citizenship, said Diaz. They don TMt have a right to confiscate that like they would their laser visa.
Diaz told Action 4 News the targeted individuals were detained and handcuffed without explanation, strip-searched and threatened.
Among his cases is that of Trinidad Muraira.
She was crossing thru Brownsville on a temporary visa with her two daughters who were born in the US.
Diaz claimed his clients were interrogated intensely and coerced into falsely admitting they were not born in the United States despite being native-born citizens.
If CBP had a belief that these people were not born here, there's other ways to handle the situation, said Diaz. But to put people in separate rooms and then tell them your mother already admitted that you were not born here, why don't you admit it, when it was not true, it is just to me unacceptable.
A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection in Brownsville released the following statement in response to questions about the complaint:
CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate corruption or abuse, and we fully cooperate with investigations."
I think that the problem is that CBP has gone into a situation that they have to focus so much on keeping the border secure that they have lost a sense of how they are supposed to treat people, said Diaz
Now attorney Jaime Diaz is demanding that the Department of Homeland Security investigate the alleged abuse at the border crossings.