While many individuals were under the impression that President Trump and his newly acquired campaign of government officials have started a chain reaction of unfortunate events affecting immigrants and those entering the U.S., Gizmodo is revealing that CBP, Customs and Border Protection, actually has been doing some unethical things for quite some time now. Although President Trump has contributed to this new movement that promotes the removal of immigrants and limiting foreign individuals from entering the U.S., CBP has been abusing their rights for a good length of time, even before Trump took his seat as President.
Here’s what’s going on at U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry.
When a foreign individual enters the country or a U.S. citizen is returning to the U.S. from their travels abroad, they first need to be approved by a CBP Officer before they are granted entry. During this process, CBP Officers have the right to ask questions, search luggage, and even scroll through private photos and messages on your phone. Is this a violation of your rights? While one would think that it would be illegal for a CBP Officer to search their cellphone without a warrant, apparently it isn’t as this behavior has been going on for some time now. And these unjustifiable cell phone searches aren’t the only things CPB Officers are doing.
So, what exactly is occurring when individuals come in contact with CBP Officers? No need to wonder anymore as Gizmodo has provided a few of the many complaints that have been filed against the agency, and we are outlining some below for you.
- The first complaint comes from a sibling who filed the complaint on behalf of his 22 year Latina sister. Back in 2015, his sister traveled to Miami International Airport from El Salvador. The male states that upon being approached by a CPB Officer, his sister was talked to in an abusive and hostile manner and later asked to provide her cell phone. The officer began searching through her pictures, Facebook, and reading her conversations in the WhatsApp application. He proceeded to read messages from males and asked if any of the men were her boyfriend.
The brother of this young woman felt that his sister was mistreated and her that her privacy was abused. He even states that the CBP Officer was malicious and perverse towards his sister. Whether the photos the female had in her phone were nude, revealing, or private, the officer was able to look through all her personal data and there was nothing she could do about it except file a complaint.
- The next complaint comes from a U.S. citizen who was traveling from Canada to the U.S. with his wife. They were both stopped at a checkpoint and as the male was questioned about why his truck was registered in another state than the one he resided in, he replied with a response the officer apparently didn’t like. The situation escalated quickly which resulted in the male being thrown against his truck and his wife being yelled at. The two were then detained and questioned and held as though they had committed a crime. After CBP couldn’t find any evidence supporting why they should have detained the two, they were released and informed that the male’s cellphone was copied. Not only were the two American citizens, but the male was a military war veteran.
If you would like to read more of the complaints Gizmodo was able to obtain, click here now. Many of the complaints reveal horrific as well as traumatic experiences many innocent individuals have had to go through simply because CBP Officers chose to abuse the power they had as opposed to just enforcing laws.
And as President Trump continues to with his efforts to remove immigrants and limit their entry, more and more horror stories will likely surface. If you are an immigrant who feels your rights have been violated here in the U.S., let USAttorneys.com find you an immigration lawyer in your city to represent you and fight for your rights.