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FAQ on Border Patrol Cover Up Shadow Units

UPDATE 5/6/2022: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a memo announcing the elimination of Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams (BPCITs), which have repeatedly interfered with law enforcement investigations of agents involved in the killing and harming of community members. Read our press release here. There are many questions surrounding Border Patrol's secretive cover-up units, also known as Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams (BPCITs). Border Patrol Critical Investigative Teams may be the largest and longest standing shadow police unit that is operating today in the federal government. The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) has called on Congress to launch an investigation and oversight hearings into the unlawful operation of BPCITs. Now, ten House and Senate committee and subcommittee chairs sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an investigation into the involvement of these shadow units. Simultaneously, the chairs of two of these committees — the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Homeland Security — published a letter requesting information – by February 7th 2022 – about the "potential misconduct" of these specialized teams. These teams act without congressional authority, thus exist only to obstruct justice, undermine public safety, and violate public trust. SBCC has put together a list of frequently asked questions regarding these shadow cover-up units. Continue reading
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Five Things You Need To Know About Border Patrol Cover-Up Shadow Units

UPDATE 5/6/2022: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a memo announcing the elimination of Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams (BPCITs), which have repeatedly interfered with law enforcement investigations of agents involved in the killing and harming of community members. Read our press release here. Border Patrol Critical Investigative Teams (BPCITs) may be the largest and longest standing shadow police unit that is operating today in the federal government. The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) has called on Congress to launch an investigation and oversight hearings into the unlawful operation of BPCITs. Now, ten House and Senate committee and subcommittee chairs sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an investigation into the involvement of these shadow units. Simultaneously, the chairs of two of these committees — the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Homeland Security — published a letter requesting information – by February 7th 2022 – about the "potential misconduct" of these specialized teams. These teams act without congressional authority, thus exist only to obstruct justice, undermine public safety, and violate public trust. Continue reading
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Congress Must Stop CBP Secret Investigations

Written by Jenn Budd, SBCC Ambassador In October 2021, the Southern Border Community Coalition sent a letter to congressional leaders demanding an investigation into the U.S. Border Patrol’s decades-long use of secret and illegal Critical Incident Teams (CIT). These units have been used to cover up crimes and use-of-force incidents committed by agents since 1987 and are the reason why no agent has ever been held accountable for the death of another since the agency’s inception in 1924. Continue reading
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A Year In Review: SBCC Accomplishments in 2021

As a coalition grounded in protecting and advancing human rights in the borderlands, the Southern Border Communities Coalition can celebrate the following accomplishments that were the direct result of our work and collaborative efforts. Continue reading
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WITH NEW BORDER PATROL DESIGNATION, BY LAW, BIDEN MUST ELIMINATE THE UNION

In 2020, former President Trump reclassified the Border Patrol and its mother agency CBP as a “security agency.” This is the same designation given to agencies like the Secret Service and FBI, but unlike in those agencies, the Border Patrol Union stayed in place. Across the federal government, employees of security agencies do not have access to collective bargaining rights because of the sensitive nature of their positions and the potential for abuse of power. The fact that the Border Patrol Union is still in place raises red flags.  We should all be concerned by this. Continue reading
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What’s Really Going on in the Southern Border Region?

SBCC’s director, Vicki B. Gaubeca, sets the record straight By Vicki B. Gaubeca The Southern Border region has always been a place of hope, welcoming and opportunity. With the current challenges facing us in the region, this nation has a chance and a responsibility to live up to our values, do the right thing, and develop fair, humane and functional systems to welcome vulnerable newcomers, as well as border residents, at our southern border. We want to make sure we, as people who live and work in the southern border region, set the record straight, and answer some questions we’ve heard below. Continue reading
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The time for a paradigmatic shift in how Americans view immigrants and immigration is now

By Sarah Towle There haven’t been many moments of joy in the U.S. immigration space these past four years. But March brought celebration to the borderlands as we witnessed the good guys — and gals — prevail over the evil villain, Hollywood-style — if only for a moment. Continue reading
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We Must Address the Challenges at Our Border, Starting with Title 42

The Southern Border region has always been a place of hope, welcoming and opportunity. Border communities know that the challenges we’re experiencing at the border are NOT a ‘crisis’ and are not new — they are the result of the hyper-militarization of the Southern Border over the last two decades that has criminalized migrants, rather than recognized them as human beings. It is also the result of the near total closure of the border to people seeking protection, which is an abdication of the United States government’s responsibility in the global community. The government has gone so far as to weaponize laws and provisions against migrants that meant to keep people safe, like Title 42. Trump’s misuse of Title 42 to block and expel asylum seekers placed them in grave danger, and one year later, President Biden has done nothing to stop it. Continue reading
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Breaking Down President Biden’s Immigration Plan

The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) hosted a conversation with las SBCC Comadres to discuss the immigration plan proposed by President Biden on Day One of his presidency. SBCC was pleased to see that the Biden Administration listened to southern border communities, and included the immediate halt of border wall construction and pathways to citizenship for thousands of undocumented community members. Continue reading
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Rethinking the future of the southern border region

Our borderlands have been used as staging grounds for President Trump’s misguided, enforcement-only policies, from the destructive border wall to desecrated Indigenous lands and anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies. As the dust from the 2020 Elections settles, the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) hosted a conversation with border experts, all of whom live and work in the region, to discuss the results of the elections and the work that lies ahead in 2021 and beyond. Continue reading
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