Next Wednesday, WOLA is publishing a report that I’ve been working on for months, with colleagues at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales.
It’s an in-depth look at
- CBP’s and Border Patrol’s serious, pervasive human rights problem
- Why DHS’s accountability efforts constantly fail
- What we can do about it
Our launch webinar is at 2PM Eastern next Wednesday, August 2.
There’s a lot of ground to cover! Join us if you can – here’s the RSVP link.
Here’s the text of the event announcement from WOLA’s website.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Kino Border Initiative (KBI) cordially invite you to the following webinar:
Abuses at the U.S.- Mexican Border: How To Address Failures and Protect Rights
A U.S.-Mexico border that is well governed can go hand in hand with a border where migrants and asylum seekers receive humane treatment. For this to happen, U.S. government personnel who abuse human rights or violate professional standards must be held to account and victims must receive justice.
Right now, at the U.S.-Mexico border, this rarely happens. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the federal government’s largest civilian law enforcement agency, has a persistent problem of human rights abuse without accountability.
Many, if not most, CBP officers, and agents in CBP’s Border Patrol agency, are professionals who seek to follow best practices. However, the frequency and severity of abuse allegations suggests that agents who do, have little reason to be concerned about consequences from an accountability system that yields few results.
Join us to discuss the launch of our new report, Abuses at the U.S.-Mexican Border: How To Address Failures and Protect Rights. While documenting the problem at the border and showing “failure points” to accountability, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) offer more than 40 recommendations for more effective complaints, investigations, discipline, oversight, and cultural change.
The report is a product of years of work documenting human rights violations committed by U.S. federal law enforcement forces at the U.S.-Mexico border. WOLA, based in Washington D.C, maintains a database of over 400 cases—many of them severe—compiled since 2020. KBI has documented thousands of cases of abuse narrated by migrants who have sheltered at its facilities in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. KBI has generated hundreds of formal complaints since 2015 in an effort to improve accountability.
Of complaints since 2020, 95 percent resulted in no accountability outcome at all. Changing an abusive culture, and increasing the probability of accountability, can take many years and will face political headwinds. But as the many, often shocking, abuses documented by both organizations make strikingly clear, there is no other choice: this is a matter of democratic rule of law, both at the border and beyond it. The United States must bring its border law enforcement agencies’ day-to-day behavior back into alignment with its professed values, especially at a time of historic migration.
- Director for Defense Oversight, Washington Office on Latin America, WOLA
- Advocacy Coordinator, Kino Border Initiative, KBI
- Executive Director, Kino Border Initiative, KBI
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
14:00 – 15:00 ET / 11:00 – 12:00 MST
Register to join the webinar here.