Donald Trump and his officials have been busy churning out a lie about a dangerous border (unauthorized crossings are in fact at the lowest levels since 1971, according to data from Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security) and overwhelmed federal immigration agents, but it’s federal immigration agents that are dangerously out of control, engaging in extortion and sexual assault, purposefully destroying jugs of water left for migrants in the desert, violating international agreements, and even killing:
A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been arrested after the bodies of a woman and a 1-year-old child were found near a rural park in South Texas.
The bodies of 27-year-old Grizelda Hernandez and her son Dominick Alexander Hernandez were discovered about 15 feet apart near the banks of the Rio Grande on Monday.
According to Dallas News, Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles, who was in a romantic relationship with Hernandez and has been a federal immigration agent for nine years, was arrested on two counts of capital murder. It’s the latest incident adding to Border Patrol’s culture of violence—according to the Southern Border Communities Coalition, at least 50 people have died as the result of an encounter with Border Patrol since 2010.
Yet, despite a DHS report finding that corruption is so rampant among agents that they “pose a national security threat,” there has been next to no accountability. When two agents tried to violate a U.S./Mexico agreement last year by forcing an unwell man onto Mexican agents without properly processing him because he, well, “looks” Mexican, the agents just abandoned him in a park. According to NBC News, the two agents still have their jobs.
According to the agreement, Mexican nationals must be repatriated through the Mexican consulate, where they are identified through fingerprinting. “Only then can they be sent back across the border on foot or by other means.” But in the video provided to NBC News, the two agents claimed the handcuffed man—barefoot and clearly injured—wasn’t in their custody, and that the Mexican agents should just take him because “I think he’s Mexican. He’s going back to his country ... He looks [Mexican]”:
“You know you can’t take him out through here,” a Mexican agent is seen telling the two U.S. officers before directing them to take the man to a Mexican consulate.
“Why would I have to call the consulate?” one of the U.S. agents responded. “He’s not in my custody.”
Even as the other officer removed the handcuffs from the man, the first agent continued to insist that he was not in their custody. “He’s not with me,” the agent said, insisting that he was doing the man “a favor.”
It soon becomes clear in the clip that the U.S. agents did not know for certain whether the man, described by NBC as “mentally unstable,” was in fact from Mexico.
When Mexican agents refused to relent, NBC News reports that the Border Patrol agents instead dumped the man in a park on the U.S. side, though this is not shown in the video. “A concerned citizen called the local police when she noticed the man's "erratic" behavior in the park and he was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to a law enforcement source.” According to the Huffington Post, Border Patrol claims the office “addressed the agents’ actions,” but they remain on the job to continue aiding Donald Trump’s ethnic cleansing campaign:
“CBP is committed to treating everyone with professionalism, dignity and respect while enforcing the laws of the United States,” the official told HuffPost. “CBP takes all allegations of mistreatment seriously, and does not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values of Vigilance, Service to Country and Integrity.”
Truly laughable if this weren’t all so fucking terrifying, because where was that “professionalism, dignity and respect” when agents stalked and detained a 10-year-old Texas girl with cerebral palsy following emergency gallbladder surgery last year? In their quest to keep her locked up rather than release her to relatives in the state—as medical professionals recommended—officials also repeatedly denied her follow-up medical appointments relating to her surgery. Yet, Trump still wants the National Guard to come in because he claims Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed. Too busy chasing disabled children, maybe.
“This all-out assault is not normal,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of immigrant rights group America’s Voice. “This is not who we are. This is not what the American people want. The day of reckoning will come. History will not be kind to those who order and carry out these attacks. Let us work towards a new Congress that will do what this Congress refuses to do: exercise meaningful oversight in order to hold these officials accountable for their actions.”