Earlier this month, a report showed alarming numbers, 500 employees of the United States Customs and Border Protection agency were charged with drug trafficking, accepting bribes, and a range of other crimes over a period of two years.
As the press nationwide is focusing on the increased numbers of military soldiers being deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border, let us not forget CBP, the more looming danger to the caravan that will actually be dealing with them on a daily basis upon their arrival as they await their processing.
The report was released by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Human Resources Management and it’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and it covers the years 2016 and 2017. This report, according to the agency, was released in an attempt to show more agency transparency, and to demonstrate that the agency does not condone employees who violate the law.
This report seems more like an attempt to undermine all the negative attention the agency has been receiving in the news lately with cases of physical and mental abuse against immigrants under their custody, high profile murder cases, and other cases of misconduct that have risen just this year.
“We are talking about a fraction of the organization,” stated Matthew Klein, assistant commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility, the New York Times quoted.
No Matthew, it’s not just “a fraction of the organization.” All the report shows is that the agency only reported“a fraction” of the infractions.
The report shows that in 2017, the agency opened 252 cases involving use of force by border agents, “down” from the 338 cases opened the previous year. The report, however, does not include all the reports that have recently come to light this year.
This past summer, the agency showed its capacity and true colors when dealing with migrant families trying to seek asylum or refuge in our country while executing Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. The report also doesn’t include the recent high-profile cases of violence involving agency officers.
The report doesn’t include the September case resulting in murder charges against agency officer Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the agency who was charged with the murder of four women and assaulting a fifth woman in just a period of two weeks.
The report doesn’t include the murder of Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, the 19-year-old Guatemalan young woman who was shot in the head by an agency officer. The agency says that the officer shot her after he was attacked with blunt objects by a group of people that included Claudia.
Eyewitnesses dispute the officers account.
Here in New Mexico, a trans woman lost her life this year due to medical neglect while awaiting her deportation. She died from what appeared to be cardiac arrest, complications related to her HIV.
The report doesn’t include that either.
As we await for the current migrant caravan to reach our borders we must be skeptical and attentive of how the agency will handle this humanitarian crisis.