2008 report on past doubling of agents warns of “disastrous experiences” already felt by border communities.
Mr. Tachiquin’s concerns are echoed by other families such as the family of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who was beaten, shot with a Taser and killed by border agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry while agents tried to deport him in May 2010. The horrendous incident was witnessed by passersby, several of whom recorded the incident and whose videos were released publicly by PBS Need to Know. The case is still under investigation and the agents involved are still on the job. Anastasio’s wife, Maria Puga, who now cares for their five children, responded to the news of an enforcement surge.
The families of Valiera, Anastasio, and Jose have joined forces to call for justice for the more than 20 cases of abuse that the SBCC has been tracking since 2010. In none of these cases has a border agent been held accountable. The families have traveled to Washington, D.C. several times to meet with legislators to also ask for legislative reform to control what is seemingly an out-of-control Border Patrol.
“We want the agents to be equipped with lapel cameras so there is some control, and no more ‘he said, she said’ goes on. We want tangible reports when cases of abuse occur,” stated Shena Gutierrez. It’s been almost two and-a-half years since the incident with Jose and it completely changed our lives. We’re still suffering and we have no answers.”
“The SBCC stands with these families and with border communities who seek what everyone else in this country seeks–a responsible government that protects our human and civil rights and imposes checks and balances on our law enforcement agencies,” stated Christian Ramirez. “There is little to no oversight of Border Patrol and no accountability. Legislative solutions such as requiring agents to wear lapel cameras to record their encounters with the public, just as police officers are now starting to do, is a concrete way to impose day-to-day accountability. Unfortunately, the Senate has not focused on oversight and accountability and instead has focused on an expensive, extreme, and excessive call for 40,000 border agents. We resoundingly reject this approach.”
The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), is made up of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (CA), Border Action Network (AZ), Arizona Sonora Border Coalition (AZ), Taskforce for Immigrant Advocacy & Services (NM), and Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network (TX). www.soboco.org. | Twitter: @SoBoCoCoalition |Facebook