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You are here News Domestic (USA) Border agents are rarely punished in abuse claims, documents show

Border agents are rarely punished in abuse claims, documents show

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border patrolIn April 2011, a Border Patrol agent was ordered to undergo counseling after an immigrant filed a formal complaint charging that the agent had slammed the man's head against a rock near Tucson, Ariz.

In August of that year, an immigrant who was arrested near El Paso, Texas, accused a Border Patrol agent of stepping on his face and kneeing him in the ribs after he was handcuffed. Internal affairs officers investigated the case, but took no action.

That same month, an unaccompanied minor complained that a Border Patrol agent "hit him on the head with a metal flashlight 20 times, kicked him 5 times, pushed him down a hill." The case was still under review more than two years later.

The vast majority of complaints lodged against Border Patrol agents operating within 100 miles of the Southwest border result in no disciplinary action or are still pending after many years, according to newly released documents from the agency's office of internal affairs.

The records suggest little accountability for alleged kicking, beating, sexual abuse and other mistreatment of detainees in custody and other immigrants by members of one of the nation's largest law enforcement agencies, one that has come under growing fire for its use-of-force policies and lack of transparency.

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