A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Posts tagged ‘border patrol’

SB1070: the path for immigration reform?

Rally for immigrant rights

The battle over SB1070 has gone all the way to the Supreme Court in an effort to untangle where federal rights meet state rights, what constitutes racial profiling, and who at the end of the day is responsible for creating immigration reform.

The government is arguing that the law promotes racial profiling and over steps into a policy area that belongs on a federal level. The states are arguing that they have both a right and an obligation to deal with people who are undocumented within their own contexts and that while the law could create circumstances of racial profiling that would only be if it was abused by law enforcement.

The list of questions presented to the court are all worthy and represent key facets of democracy, human rights, and balance of power. At the heart of these questions is how we understand citizenship. Is it a special status that restricts the distribution of legal rights? Or is it a legal reality that confers on each of us a special responsibility for how we welcome and integrate those who come into our borders?

Sojourners and many other faith leaders feel that it is the latter. In light of that they invite those who feel that SB1070 represents a failure of democracy, human rights, and the balance of powers to write letters to their editors. Check out the link below and join the call to never understand a human being as illegal.

http://faithandimmigration.org/action/no-excuses-delaying-immigration-reform

Culture of Cruelty: The struggle to end deportation

Please click on the link below to sign a petition to President Obama to stop the human rights violations by Border Patrol against immigrants in their custody!  To read the full report or the Executive Summary of “A Culture of Cruelty: Abuse and Impunity in U.S. Border Patrol Custody,” go to:

http://www.cultureofcruelty.org/?p=306

To see media coverage of the new report:

From USA Today:

Katerina Sinclair, a statistical consultant and research associate at the University of Arizona, oversaw the report separately from her work at the university. She said the report was funded by donations to No More Deaths and a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.

The main finding of the report “is that Border Patrol is acting with impunity and that abuse is pervasive,” she said. She said researchers expected to find abuse limited to certain shifts or certain days of the week by a small number of agents.

Instead, she said, “it was across the board. It was a horrible violation of human rights, and I don’t think that is what people were expecting at all. We were deeply shocked.”

From International Business Times:

Physical abuse was reported by 10 percent of interviewees. Physical abuses reported include sexual assault, being shoved into cacti, and being forced to walk barefoot through the desert.

One woman reported having her breasts touched in the presence of male and female guards after being forced to strip naked.

The report said that children were just as likely as adults to be abused, and spending more time in custody meant an increased chance of being abused.

There were also 416 reports of “dangerous transportation practices,” such as overcrowded vehicles and agents who purposefully drove in circles to make passengers nauseous.

The report also noted that items were often confiscated from detainees and not returned.

Several cases of evening repatriation were reported, which the study notes violates the Memorandum of Understanding and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

There were 869 reports of family separation. Seventeen of these reports came from children and 41 came from teenagers.

“Aside from the psychological agony of being separated, possibly permanently, from loved ones, women and children who are repatriated alone are vulnerable to kidnappers and sex traffickers,” the report said.

From the San Antonio Times:

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Bill Brooks said Border Patrol agents “were required to treat all those they encounter with respect and dignity.”

“This requirement is consistently addressed in training and consistently reinforced throughout an agent’s career,” he said in an email. “Mistreatment or agent misconduct will not be tolerated in any way. Any agent within our ranks that does not adhere to the highest standards of conduct will be identified and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”

It was unclear whether CBP planned to investigate the report’s allegations.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/217905/20110921/report-physical-sexual-abuse-illegal-immigrants-border-patrol.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/us-usa-mexico-study-idUSTRE78K6NV20110921

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-21/border-patrol-mistreatment/50490872/1?csp=34news

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/092111_no_more_deaths/report-alleges-border-patrol-torture-illegal-immigrants/

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/09/immigrant_abuses_at_hands_of_b.php

Tag Cloud