Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AZMEX I3 18-2-13

AZMEX I3 18 FEB 2013

Group's report alleges abuse of migrants
6 hours ago • Perla Trevizo Arizona Daily Star

A border organization has released a new report that alleges
systematic abuse of illegal immigrants by the Border Patrol,
including not allowing them to contact their consulate.

The report from the Kino Border Initiative focuses on five main
issues affecting migrants, including violence and abuse faced by
crossers on both sides of the border.

The report said one in four illegal immigrants surveyed reported
being abused in some way by the Border Patrol, with verbal aggression
being the most common.

Also, border agents "systematically" deny illegal immigrants the
opportunity to contact the Mexican Consulate, the report states.

Officials with Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the
Border Patrol, did not respond to a request for comment.

Illegal immigrants are often the victims of theft, violence, and
physical, verbal and sexual abuse at the hands of criminal gangs,
human smugglers, human traffickers and thieves, the Kino Border
Initiative report said.

Immigrants also face abuse and misconduct from police in Mexico.

The Kino Border Initiative, based in Nogales, Ariz,. and Nogales,
Sonora, has an aid center for deported immigrants and a shelter for
women and their children. Along with two Jesuit groups, it published
the report "Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration
Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border."

"We are very concerned about this situation because we feel it's a
violation of human rights," said the Rev. Sean Carroll, executive
director of the initiative.

The report is based on surveys from nearly 5,000 illegal immigrants
from Mexico and Central America conducted from March through August

In 2011, a Tucson-based immigrants' rights group released a report
saying people caught trying to cross the border illegally are
regularly deprived of food and water, denied medical treatment,
separated from family members and not given their belongings back.

A Border Patrol spokesman said at the time that agents are required
to treat all of those they encounter with respect and dignity, and to
make every effort to make sure people in their custody are given the
attention they need.

Mexican consular officials work to protect Mexican citizens and
safeguard their rights and interests, Socorro Cordova, spokeswoman
for the network in Arizona, said in an email.

"The border dynamic is complex, and attending to it requires the full
efforts of both governments and their civil societies," she said.
"The government of Mexico maintains its commitment to work with all
actors involved in order to make the border a region of opportunity,
safety and shared well-being."

The new report also found about 25 percent of those deported were
separated from their immediate relatives.

Department of Homeland Security policy is to keep families together
whenever possible.

Among other things, the report recommends limiting family separation
during the deportation process and curbing abuse by authorities on
both side of the border.

Carroll said the groups published the report in hopes of addressing
these issues with authorities from both sides of the border.

"I do believe they can be solved and would like to work with the
authorities to help solve these issues," he said.

On StarNet: Find extensive coverage of immigration issues at

To read the report go to and click on

Contact reporter Perla Trevizo at or at
573-4213. On Twitter: @Perla_Trevizo.

US Jesuit Network Reiterates Call for Comprehens​ive and Humane
Immigratio​n Reform


U.S. Jesuit Network Welcomes Bi-Partisan Action for Immigration
Reform, Reiterates Call to Address the Broken Immigration System
The U.S. Jesuit Conference, the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the
Kino Border Initiative welcome the framework for comprehensive
immigration reform released yesterday by a bi-partisan group of
Senators. Likewise, we were encouraged by President Obama's remarks
in Las Vegas, Nevada today calling for a "commonsense" approach to
swiftly address an "out-of-date and badly broken immigration
Through our ministries, on a daily basis we witness the tragic
consequences of our nation's flawed and outdated immigration laws
and policies. We can and must do better. As our elected officials
attempt to craft a viable immigration system, we urge them to place
family unity, human dignity, transparency and accountability at the
center of their debates. Very Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., President
of the Jesuit Conference of the United States stressed, "We assess
each immigration policy proposal by whether it adheres to the
Catholic and American value of promoting and affirming human
dignity." As was established by the Justice for Immigrants campaign
of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and reiterated by the
U.S. Jesuit Provincials in their joint letter to Congress in June
2010, a comprehensive and humane approach to immigration reform must:
Establish a pathway to citizenship that ensures that undocumented
immigrants have access to full rights; Expedite family reunification
and emphasize family unity for all immigrants; Restore due process,
accountability, and transparency, particularly in the context of
detention and deportation processes to foster humane enforcement of
our immigration policies; Include policies that address the root
causes of migration from developing countries; and Create a legal
employment structure for future workers that protects both migrants
and the U.S. citizen labor force.
While we are encouraged by the bipartisan tone of yesterday's
release and its call for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented
individuals, we are concerned that earned legalization in the plan is
contingent upon a "secure border." We caution that the concept of
achieving an impervious border before implementing legalization will
leave millions of lives in limbo and prolong indefinitely the
irregular status of our undocumented brothers and sisters. A genuine
understanding of the realities faced by border communities will yield
the best policy. We contend that our borders are best secured and our
communities best kept safe by humane, transparent, and accountable
practices which foster trust between border communities and law
enforcement entities. Said Rev. Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive
Director of the bi-national Kino Border Initiative in Nogales,
Arizona, "Law enforcement agencies like CBP and ICE must take local
community input into account for true security and respect for human
rights to become a reality along the U.S./Mexico border."
We look forward to working with lawmakers as they develop legislation
that meets the need for comprehensive and humane immigration reform.

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