Demand DHS protect immigrant women from sexual assault

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For immigrant women, entering the U.S. can be a difficult road. A recent study showed that many women are being strip searched and sexually abused by Border Patrol Agents. Their complaints are rarely addressed, and the agents are hardly ever reprimanded. The current process for even filing a complaint is filled with obstacles. When complaints are filed, it’s often the Border Agent’s word against the victims.

Immigration stories shouldn’t include incidents of sexual coercion. Tell the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect immigrant women from sexual assault - place cameras in booking areas.

Two sisters from Guatemala were strip searched and sexually assaulted by a Border Patrol Agent. He took each of them separately, forcing them to remove their clothes and touched their genitals. The booking areas all were without cameras. Current DHS policies require strip searches be performed only by female agents. If that is impossible due to staffing, then two agents are supposed to be in the room. Their complaint was investigated, only to be thrown out due to a ‘lack of physical evidence’.

Their story isn’t isolated. From 2010-2016, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection received 84 complaints of coerced sexual assault. Agents should not use their positions of power to sexually assault  immigrant women. Tell the DHS to protect immigrant women from sexual assault, install cameras in booking areas.

Sexual assaults by Border Agents is not something that can be overlooked.



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