WASHINGTON – Today, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) and Veronica Escobar (TX-16) sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus urging him to implement measures that would increase accountability and transparency within the agency. The letter was cosigned by Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
In the letter, the Members set their expectations for Commissioner Magnus and the Biden administration to address the shortfalls within CBP moving forward:
“We write to congratulate you on your appointment and confirmation to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and to express the urgent need to implement humane border policies which prioritize transparency and accountability within the agency. We expect your decades of law enforcement and community policing experience in the border region to contribute to the adoption of evidence-based policies and best practices to build a culture of integrity within CBP.
“While the Biden Administration has made efforts to rescind the racist and inhumane border policies of the Trump Administration, policies such as Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocols persist, leaving migrants vulnerable to mistreatment at the hands of Border Patrol agents, and susceptible to violence and exploitation in Mexico and in home or third countries to which individuals are forcibly returned…
“The list of issues plaguing CBP is unacceptably long and addressing them is integral to treating migrants, border community residents, and all others who encounter CBP with dignity and respect.”
The letter details a lengthy list of issues that CBP has struggled to cope with from mistreatment of migrants by Border Patrol agents to unsanitary and unsafe holding conditions for detainees. It also highlights the lack of accountability for CBP agents and their aggressive use of force. The full letter and list of recommendations can be found here.