FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 8, 2023
Alan Lizárraga | (915) 355-0109 | firstname.lastname@example.org
BNHR Extremely Concerned about the Disproportionate Use of Force Against Immigrant Families and Asylum Seekers and Renews Call for Oversight and Accountability for the Asylum System
“There were children in pain crying, entire families in the streets covered with tear gas”
EL PASO, Texas – In light of yesterday’s incident that occurred near the Santa Fe Bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where the Office of Field Operations (OFO) doused tear gas on a large group of migrants across the Mexican border, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) has released the following statement:
“We are deeply appalled by the actions taken by the Office of Field Operations (OFO), who cruelly filled the streets of Ciudad Juarez with tear gas. Not only was this a disproportionate use of force against civilians, children, and migrant families but a complete dismissal of our nation’s values. Our country continues to meet asylum seekers and migrants with unnecessary violence, instead of honoring the international and constitutional right to seek asylum. This broken, dysfunctional, and inhumane system continues to unleash chaos at the border and put hundreds of innocent lives at risk,” said Fernado Garcia, executive director of the BNHR.
Betty Camargo, State Programs Director noted that “yesterday, migrants were deceived by the false rumors that U.S. authorities would process them for their asylum claims. When we arrived on the ground, there were children in pain crying, entire families in the streets covered with tear gas. I saw children who could not find their parents trapped in the smoke clouds of tear gas.
The ill-conceived border enforcement strategies that continue to limit access to asylum and legal venues of migration have unleashed unnecessary conflict and violence at our southern border. Migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have been placed in devastating situations due to the lack of pragmatic options and channels to reach safety and refuge. It is imperative that the Biden Administration restores the right to asylum and begins delivering on the promise of a humane border policy,” said Betty Camargo.
“This disturbing display of authority additionally shows the urgent need for accountability and oversight. We demand for a swift and transparent investigation into the events that occurred yesterday. Additionally, we demand for the Biden Administration and Congress to bring accountability and oversight to federal immigration agencies at the southern border. The government and its bodies were created to serve community needs. This means that the government must be accountable to the public and transparent about its actions, and ensure that its agencies and officers are responsive to and respectful of our communities.
If we are to truly live up to our values as a welcoming nation, we must create policies, protocols, and infrastructure that uphold our American values of welcoming, make institutions work better on behalf of American communities, and ensure our communities are safe and our rights are respected and protected,” remarked Fernando Garcia.