10 Members of Congress Join Northern Borders Coalition Demand for Civil Rights Audit of Border Patrol
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Contact: Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director, NWIRP, 206.957.8609
Racial, Religious Profiling, Abuse, Spark Calls for Investigation
Seattle, WA– Ten Members of Congress, including Washington Reps. Jim McDermott and Adam Smith, have signed onto a letter calling for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an independent investigation of Customs and Border Protection’suse of its authority to stop people and vehicles within 100 miles of the northern border. The letter instructs the GAO to investigate Border Patrol practices that “undermine immigrant communities’ trust in law enforcement, violate people’s civil rights and adversely impact public safety” and asks for the collection of statistics regarding apprehensions in border regions.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has been working with allies in the Northern Borders Coalition to push for such an audit in the wake of revelations regarding harassment and profiling by Border Patrol within its ever-expanding jurisdiction.
WHAT: Telefonic Press Briefing: GAO Needs to Probe Reports of Border Patrol Discrimination
Jesús Martínez, One America Member (WA), father of Alex Martínez, U.S. Citizen killed at own home by Border Patrol agents
Peter Mares, U.S. Citizen detained by Border Patrol (NY)
The Office of Congressman Hansen Clarke (D-MI)
Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director, Northwest Immigrants Rights Project
Dawud Walid, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations – Michigan
Ryan Bates, Director, Alliance for Immigrants Rights – Michigan
Jacki Esposito, Immigration Advocacy Director, New York Immigration Coalition
WHEN: 10:00am PST, Tuesday, August 28, 2012
WHERE: 1.800.977.8002 / Code: 861576# / Conference Call Name: Northern Borders
“Communities throughout the country have repeatedly expressed serious concerns about the troubling practices of the U.S. Border Patrol, but we have failed to see meaningful reforms. We applaud the decision of several members of Congress to call for an independent review of the Border Patrol’s practices to ensure that the agency is being held accountable for its huge of the vast resources it has at its disposal,” saidNorthwest Immigrant Rights Project Executive Director Jorge L. Barón.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, along with its partners at ACLU-WA and Perkins Coie, is representing three residents of the Olympic Peninsula in a class-action lawsuit challenging the U.S. Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants without legal justification. The lawsuit contends that the Border Patrol’s suspicionless stops on the Peninsula violate constitutional rights, and it seeks a court injunction barring such unlawful stops in the future.