Reports: Border Patrol Agents Use Excessive Force and Physical Abuse

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A recent report written by Daniel E. Martínez, an assistant professor of sociology at George Washington University for The American Immigration Council, reports that excessive force and physical abuse and excessive force top the list of hundreds of complaints filed against U.S. Border Patrol agents., The complaints include charges that agents kicked a pregnant woman, stomped on a man and physically forced a minor to sign a document.



The accusations are based on government data obtained by the advocacy group the American Immigration Council via a Freedom of Information Act request.


The report states that “Although it is not possible to determine which cases had merit and which did not, it is astonishing that, among those cases in which a formal decision was issued, 97 percent resulted in ‘No Action Taken,”

From Tucson, NPR’s Ted Robbins reported:

  • “The data cover 809 complaints over three years. Of those 809, only 13 resulted in disciplinary action against agents. Many cases were still under investigation more than a year after the complaint was made.”
  • “Most of the complaints were in the busy Tucson, Rio Grande, and San Diego border patrol sectors. There is no unified system for people to file complaints, so the numbers don’t represent all of the complaints made against Border Patrol agents.”
  • “The report’s authors say the complaints give new detail to “a longstanding pattern of abuse and inaction” by border agents, along with a “lack of accountability and transparency” in U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”


  • “The complaints in the report were made between January 2009 and January 2012. The average time it took for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to make a decision on a complaint was 122 days, the report’s authors say.”

We follow this issue closely; I am one of those who think that immigrants are valuable assets to our country.  Therefore, I applaud the President´s interest in making it easier for those who are in the country to remain.  Like all Americans, I want the laws that make this country great obeyed by all, including the border patrol agents who guard our frontiers with other nations.

I am Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. and these are my personal thoughts.

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