For Immediate Release: August 25, 2021
Contact: Colleen Ross | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-601-7877
Catholic Lobby and Immigrant Rights Group Release Report on CBP Abuse at the Border
Ronnate Asirwatham: “While this is a snapshot of migrants’ experiences, it speaks to a broader pattern of abuse that fails to respect the dignity of migrants and honor God’s image in every human person.”
WASHINGTON/NOGALES– NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and Kino Border Initiative (KBI) have released a joint report “Due Process Denied” documenting a pattern of abuse by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Nogales sector.
The report, which can be read here, details thirty-five cases of violations by CBP agents documented by KBI from October 2020 to mid-August 2021. All of the immigrants were interviewed by KBI. The abuses range from migrants being denied due process, such as not given an opportunity to seek asylum or destruction of documentation, to outright physical violence. The victims are men, women, and children and all from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ronnate Asirwatham, Government Relations Director for NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said:
“This report details the inhumane treatment, lying, and family separation migrants experience at the hands of CBP. While this is a snapshot of migrants’ experiences, it speaks to a broader pattern of abuse that fails to respect the dignity of migrants and honor God’s image in every human person. We need external oversight to end CBP’s systemic culture of abuse of migrants and restore clear and transparent access to asylum.”
Sr. Tracey Horan, SP Assistant Director of Education and Advocacy for Kino Border Initiative, said:
“These complaints against Border Patrol agents show the systemic and inhumane treatment of some of the most vulnerable people who arrive at our southwest border and a failure by CBP to follow due process. This is a moral failing in our country and an utter rejection of Jesus’s call to ‘love one another.’ Oversight and immediate reforms are needed to align our country’s response to asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with the faith call to welcome immigrants as well as U.S. and international law.”
NETWORK – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a 45-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org