The security forces at the United States-Mexico border seem to rack up new complaints almost daily for their lack of respect toward human rights. The latest accusation comes from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who says that border inspectors have been using excessive force and subjecting people to unnecessary body searches upon their crossing from one country to the other. They have filed an official complaint to the Department of Homeland Security, requesting an investigation into the abuses that they say have been increasing in recent years.
These abuses have been taking place at the California, Arizona and Texas crossings and both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens have experienced violations. Some of the examples given in the complaints are very obviously cases of border officers discriminating and abusing the power that has been granted them. The list of accusations includes humiliating strip searches, use of excessive force, illegal seizure of citizenship documents and detaining people without giving them a reason.
In one specific example, a woman was reportedly cuffed by her ankle to a pole. In another, one of the inspectors hit a man in the face. Still another has a man being chained to a wall. These abuses come in the wake of a controversial video that shows border patrol officers repeatedly shooting an illegal immigrant with a stun gun - an act of abuse that ended in the man’s death.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) attempted to alleviate the accusations by stressing the integrity of their employees, though does this nothing to solve the problem at hand. In such a sensitive position, along the Mexican border, those who hold a degree of power over people who travel need to be held to a much higher standard.
They need to be properly monitored and punished harshly when they violate people’s basic human rights. Many of these abuses are going without prosecution, which only increases the chances that they may happen again. If border security is allowed to do what they want, the problem will never end and we will constantly be hearing of rights violations and deaths at their hands.