Customs & Border Protection’s Use of Force

May 30, 2014

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

Release of Customs and Border Protection Report a Good First Step Towards Transparency

WASHINGTON — After months of continuous pressure from border communities and civil rights advocates, the Obama administration today released the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF’s) review of use-of-force protocols within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The review confirmed what many leaders living along the U.S.-Mexico border have long asserted: that the nation’s largest law enforcement agency lacks accountability and transparency for even deadly actions.

Last year, CBP officials publicly declared their reluctance to adopt some of the policy changes recommended in the recently disclosed review. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center: 

“The release of the PERF report comes at a particularly poignant time for border and civil rights advocates, as this week marks the fourth anniversary of the brutal beating and murder of Anastasio Hernandez at the hands of CBP agents — a murder that has never been fully acknowledged by authorities.

“Communities along the border, like all communities, should be able to live free from fear that the color of their skin or the way they speak English will lead to harassment or worse by law enforcement officers. The Obama administration’s decision to release the PERF report is a good first step toward restoring transparency at the border. They must go much further and adopt all the recommendations made in the PERF report, along with others, to restore accountability to a region that has for too long been a rights-free zone. Our nation’s border residents, along with their Mexican and Canadian neighbors, deserve nothing less than to be treated with dignity and have their rights respected by federal government agents charged with the important task of monitoring our borders. The administration must ensure that CPB agents respect human life and the communities they serve.”

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