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Imelda Mejia, ACLU of Texas, (713) 942-8146 ext. 123, media@aclutx.org

December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — ACLU of Texas Senior Staff Attorney Edgar Saldivar appeared before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Border Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus today to offer testimony on civil rights abuses perpetrated by Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. Saldivar’s testimony focused on the case of Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10 year-old girl with cerebral palsy who had been recently separated from her family by federal immigration authorities.

“CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, with tens of thousands of enforcement agents patrolling our borders, and President Trump has called for 5,000 more,” said Saldivar in his testimony. “CBP’s excessive, abusive, and unlawful behavior has become a matter of brazen routine, yet it has failed to put into place best policing practices, effective training, or any real accountability for its agents. In the current climate, abuses by CBP agents will only get worse.”

In addition to the Rosa Maria Hernandez case, Saldivar also cited other victims of CBP abuse, including Laura Mireles, Sergio Hernandez Guereca, Cruz Velazquez, and ACLU client “Jane Doe,” who was forced to undergo invasive medical searches for six hours at an El Paso Hospital at CBP agents’ insistence.  Saldivar likewise called on Congress to demand a number of reforms at CBP, including improved data collection and the agency-wide deployment of body cameras.

Read ACLU of Texas Senior Staff Attorney Edgar Saldivar’s full testimony.

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