Report challenges border patrol on asylum seekers - Tucson News Now

Report challenges border patrol on asylum seekers

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A new report by the Kino Border Initiative says the Department of Homeland Security is not following proper procedure when it comes to handling complaints from people seeking asylum.

The Initiative says when a refugee or asylum seeker files a complaint, it is rarely investigated beyond lower staff level.

Often there is a gap between what the individual tells the Border Patrol and what is reported by the agents. 

A report of the conversation is written and filed, but according to the Initiative, there is no audio record of the what was said and it is often in dispute.

The Border Patrol may fill out a report that says the asylum seeker is looking for work and not afraid, but when the nonprofit interviews the individual, there is often a different story.

"When the individual is talking to us, they say look at this video where my cousin was killed for not joining the cartels and that was going to happen to me," said Joanna Williams, a Georgetown graduate who has been working for KPI for two years.

She said the report is not meant to forge a wedge with DHS but to assist in ways to improve the system.

"We don't see them as an antagonistic relationship," she said. "What we want is the Department of Homeland Security to do a better job and respect the rights and dignity of people."

The Border Patrol would not comment on the report immediately, but said it would comment in the near future.

Williams says the Border Patrol has doubled in size in recent years but the independent agencies that are charged with investigating the complaints, has not grown and is now underfunded and understaffed.

She said of the 39 complaints filed, she has records of only 13 that have been followed up on, which she said is not acceptable.

"What we're asking for is they require those audio recordings, just like many police departments across the country, that border patrol wear body cameras," she said. 

She would like audio records of the interactions so there is not a question about what was said during the initial conversation. 

IntakeWithoutOversight_v06 by Tucson News Now on Scribd

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:30:32 GMT
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
  • Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:40:36 GMT

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday.  "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling, who runs the shop. Fireworks sparked her interest at an early age.   She started selling them when she was sixteen in ...

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday. "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling.

  • Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Friday, June 22 2018 9:53 PM EDT2018-06-23 01:53:32 GMT

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to help remove roughly 800 tags. Previous clean up trips by the group have already lifted approximately 750 tags, according to organizer Ray ...

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to he

Powered by Frankly