In the city of San Diego and throughout the nation, the citizenship and naturalization process is fraught with red tape and stress for those involved. For many immigrants, though, the process is worth it because they want to be in the United States whether for work, family or other reasons. However, recent allegations have tarnished the image of a better life in the U.S. Some have come out claiming alleged abuses by United States Border Patrol agents. Many people who’ve already been through the citizenship and naturalization process were targeted by the agents, along with those who may have been undocumented.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security that says Customs and Border Protection agents physically assaulted or abused people in 11 different incidents. According to the complaint, many of the victims were either citizens or legal residents of this country. The complaint is requesting an investigation into the alleged crimes.
One particular incident alleges that a man who possessed a valid visa was “strip searched and chained to a metal bench for three hours.” The man received no explanation for the treatment he received. This event had the Chilean man questioning the country in which he was living and comparing it to a country that does not have democracy.
The complaint against the agents comes two years after a 42-year-old undocumented immigrant died after mistreatment by border agents. The father of five was beaten and taser near the San Diego border crossing. A statement from CBP states they have a zero tolerance policy for corruption or any type of abuse within their ranks. They plan to cooperate with the investigation. Hopefully they find a way to prevent this type of abuse so legal immigrants don’t have to live in fear of those who are supposed to be protecting those who live in the U.S. legally.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Border Agents Accused Of Abusing Citizens, Legal Residents,” Simon McCormack, May 11, 2012