Asylum-Seekers are Being Turned Away at Our Border
For several months, lawyers and advocates have received damning reports from asylum-seeking families, adults, and even unaccompanied minors fleeing Mexico and Central America who have been systematically turned away by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Ysidro, CA to Brownsville, TX.
In response, the American Immigration Council and several partner organizations—the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc., Kino Border Initiative, Women’s Refugee Commission, Public Counsel, and Latin America Working Group—have filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The complaint urges OCRCL and OIG to immediately investigate these allegations of widespread misconduct.
The U.S. government is obligated by U.S. and international law to allow noncitizens presenting themselves at U.S. borders and ports of entry to apply for asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Consistent with these legal protections, asylum seekers should be promptly received and processed by U.S. authorities – not turned away and sent back to the very countries they fled.
The complaint and case summaries were highlighted in a front page Washington Post article and in a piece by the Associated Press, this week.