PRESS STATEMENT OF KILLING OF IMMIGRANT WOMAN BY BORDER PATROL AGENT IN RIO BRAVO TEXAS
Fernando Garcia, BNHR Founder and Director
“Yesterday, Wednesday, May 23, in a confusing and unclear border enforcement incident in Rio Bravo, Texas, a border patrol agent shot and killed an immigrant woman who was crossing the US/Mexico Border. We at the Border Network for Human Rights are deeply concerned about this horrific killing and we strongly condemn the use of lethal force against any immigrants crossing the border.”
“The FBI and DHS must quickly conduct a thorough, fair, and transparent investigation of this incident, determine whether any civil or human rights were violated, and ensure that our government is accountable to migrants, border communities, and all Americans.
“Border communities and all Americans need to know if the Laredo Border Patrol Sector, and the individual agent involved, followed the proper ‘use of force policy and procedures’, specifically with regard to the following questions:
• If the border area where the incident occurred is considered a ‘high risk area’, why did the Sector send a single agent when the most recent internal policy suggests sending agents in pairs?
• Did the Border Patrol agent follow the use of force policy and procedures of de-escalation and tactical withdrawal when he was allegedly attacked?
• Was the agent trained in the use of non-lethal force to react to incidents like this, where the other party was not carrying a lethal weapon? Was the agent carrying non-lethal weapons?
“The use of violence and lethal force against unarmed immigrants crossing the border is unacceptable as either the rule or the exception. It has to be clear that federal law enforcement institutions at the border are held to the highest standards of policing and ethics, and if one agent fails, that failure reflects badly on the entire agency.”
The Border Network for Human Rights, founded in 1998, is one of the leading human rights advocacy and immigration reform organizations located at the U.S./Mexico Border. BNHR has over 7,000 members in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.