from the Southern Border Communities Coalition
NOTE: Pax Christi USA signed onto this letter.
Seventy-six organizations including the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) and the American Civil Liberties Union delivered a letter in late August urging the Obama Administration to implement common-sense policy reforms in the borderlands as part of its “humane enforcement review” of the Department of Homeland Security.
The border regions are home to tens of millions of residents whose rights are frequently abused by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). President Obama must not perpetuate second-class status for border communities: the time is now for comprehensive reforms addressing CBP’s scope of authority, improved transparency, and critical oversight and accountability measures.
The letter outlines priority policy recommendations designed to reform CBP, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency which is in crisis due to systemic problems, including widespread excessive force and corruption. Since 2010, for example, SBCC has tracked 29 incidents of deadly force by CBP officers and agents, yet not a single CBP agent has been held publicly accountable or prosecuted.