News Detail
Kino Border Initiative Report Shows Pattern of ‘Failed Oversight’ in Customs and Border Protection Complaints Process

July 11, 2017 — A new report from the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and the Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. reveals the inadequacy of the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) complaint and oversight system in investigating abuse allegations by migrants.

KBI, an immigrant aid organization in Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, co-sponsored by the Jesuits and five other U.S. and Mexican church groups, files complaints on behalf of individuals in their aid center who report having been mistreated during their migration journey. “Intake without Oversight: Firsthand Experiences with Customs and Border Protection Complaints Process” is based on findings from 49 complaints filed by KBI from October 2015 to March 2017. Of these 49, KBI was notified of findings for only 13.

“Investment in an effective oversight process is necessary both to protect the human dignity of individuals crossing the border and to enhance the training and professionalism of agents and officers,” said Father Sean Carroll, SJ, executive director of KBI.

Despite some progress in improving the complaint process, KBI found that most complaints were only investigated by management at the local level and not by the independent oversight bodies tasked with accountability, such as the Office of the Inspector General.

The report highlights several cases, including a 21-year-old who alleges he was dragged and punched by Border Patrol in November 2015 and was not allowed to file a complaint while in Border Patrol custody. After KBI filed a complaint on his behalf that same month, the only communication it received was a notification from the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that the complaint was included in their information collection.

Another case is of a woman who was eight months pregnant and had an injured ankle when she was detained by Border Patrol in December 2015. While in custody, she informed agents that she was pregnant and asked for food and medical attention. She received undercooked food and crackers every six hours and no medical care. When KBI filed a complaint on her behalf in January 2016, the local station found it to be unsubstantiated because agents did not notice that she was pregnant and said they did not remember hearing requests for food or medical attention.

The report also offers a look at the types of abuse reported, including failure to refer migrants to the asylum process (22 complaints); denial of medical care (12); use of force (10); and family separation (10).

KBI said its experience with the complaint process “reflects a pattern of failed oversight that necessitates reform by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Congress.” The report recommends increasing funding for the Office of Professional Responsibility; establishing a complaint hotline accessible from CBP holding cells; and regularly recording interviews between migrants and Border Patrol agents.

To read the full report, click here. To join the KBI and Jesuit Conference in calling for accountability to ensure human dignity at the border, contact your elected officials.





Recent News

September 17, 2018 — Today is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation.

September 14, 2018 — Ever wondered how Jesuits become Jesuits? The total journey toward Jesuit priesthood or formed brotherhood can take from eight to 13 years.

September 13, 2018 — Loyola High School is celebrating its 25th anniversary educating “men for others” in Detroit.

September 11, 2018 — Twenty-six Jesuit novices in Canada and the United States professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience this month.

September 10, 2018 — Jesuit institutions were featured prominently on the 2019 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of the best U.S. colleges and universities.

September 9, 2018 — Today is the feast day of Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary known as the patron saint of slaves, African missions and interracial justice.

September 5, 2018 — For most of his life, Fr. Kevin Embach, SJ, had two desires: to practice medicine and to serve God.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 9/3/18

America 8/20/18

America 8/6/18



White House Jesuit Retreat Center
The White House Jesuit Retreat Center is located on a beautiful 80-acre campus on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.