Crossing the line, part 2

Need to Know continues its investigation into alleged abuses by U.S. Border Patrol agents and officers on American soil. Correspondent John Larson investigates stories of physical abuse, sexual assault, and even torture.

This week, Need to Know travels to the border town of Nogales, Mexico to speak with recently deported immigrants living in a migrant shelter. Although Customs and Border Protection provide public reports of complaints of poor treatment, the official numbers pale in comparison to what occurs on the ground. Migrants spoke extensively about massive over-crowding and mistreatment of detainees in U.S. Border Patrol detention facilities. We heard stories of physical abuse from detainees who claim they were deprived of food, water and medical care. We even heard allegations of torture.

To take a closer look at these allegations, our team traveled deep into the mountains of central Mexico to speak with a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a Border Patrol officer. Correspondent John Larson speaks with a former Border Patrol agent turned whistleblower, who describes deplorable conditions in detention centers.

Border Patrol has strict guidelines on the treatment of migrants staying in detention centers. These guidelines include consequences for agents and officers who break the rules. Our report investigates whether Border Patrol policies— and even international law—are being broken in the rush to secure the U.S. border.

“Crossing the Border” has been produced with assistance from the Nation Institute and the Investigative News Network.

 

Comments

  • Lm02sm

    Theres two parts to this, I believe illegal aliens should be imprisoned. Because us, as a country, have enough to worry about with our own people. But I don’t believe in abuse.

    Illegal aliens make it hard for us, as Americans, to help our own people. They should be able to just come here and get all the welfare for us. Thats why were in as much debt as we are. Those illegal people are looking for the easy way with the ”american dream’. All U.S borders should be heavly gaurded and made to keep out illegal peple.

  • http://twitter.com/EusebiaAq WISE LATINA

    America today is not a “safe”Nation if one is a Latino Negro Native citizen or not. I am a Latina American nurse and right after 9/11 I was beaten and removed from my nursing job by my boss.They can beat us to death and our gov. don’t gives a rats ass.We Latinos are not consider humans in this post 9/11 primary White and Black only America. I fear going out of my house each day I fear that some one will killed me for being a Latino Ethnic person.

  • Dave

    May the abuse stop and let us all practice American human rights values…may the abusers pray for forgiveness…

  • Daniel

    this sob story is suppose to…. what?? what was your point? be nicer? 
    your be-more-like-mr-rogers overlay on this issue just doesn’t work… it never does.
     maybe some of the border patrol agents on our southern border aren’t among the nicest people you met this week… so what? they never have been; it’s nothing new. my guess is that if we had a president/attorney general who supported our laws -the same laws these agents have sworn to enforce- all this would go much smoother… yes, ‘nicer’.until then, i would prefer to see illegals aliens crowded in a jail cell rather than in our streets.

  • Anon36912

    IT’S ILLEGAL TO ABUSE THESE PEOPLE. IT’S AGAINST OUR LAWS THAT WE HOLD OTHER CIVILIZED NATIONS TO, AND EACH BORDER PATROL AGENT TAKES AN OATH.

    THEY ARE TORTURING PEOPLE. IT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU IF YOU SPOKE DIFFERENT AND HAD DARK SKIN.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FE2J7YN74LZUEZMBZ63EWGAPXY Techman

    These people “invade” our border like it was a revolving door. If an
    American tried to sneak into ANY OTHER country in the world (with the exception of
    Canada), we would be lucky to get out alive. If you don’t really want to
    protect the border, DON’T hire Border Patrol Agents. And as far as these people
    putting out water for them, they should be charged with obstruction of
    justice.

  • Phil Jones

    It never fails, if there is an issue - ’Need to Know’  will always come down on the wrong side of it. Discriminating against criminals is a big problem? Real discrimination is when an illegal border jumper comes into our soverign land and kills, rapes and robs a U.S. citizen and then skips back across the Rio.

    PBS seems to hate America and love every criminal, illegal alien, third world hell or communist country. PBS loves everything – except the U.S. This is why I haven’t donated any money to PBS in decades,..and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I make note of who the sponsors are and avoid them every chance that I can.

  • L. Ignum

    There’s something seriously amiss with your story. 9/11? Your ‘boss’ beat you? Whaaat? Now you’re afraid to walk around? Whaaat? Come on now,..

  • Emilie

    Frightening video. I knew there were abuses, but didn’t realize the scale was so large. I understand that the people being held are here illegally, but the Border Patrol represents the US, what we stand for and who we are. They are sworn to uphold the law. If they do not, they should be fired. Everyone has the right to be treated humanely. Everyone.

  • Performs

    There seems to be substantial evidence to consider deporting all border patrol agents that have not voiced complaints against abuses they have witnessed, and also, the supervisors of the complicit agents as high up as that may go. Good riddance. Without this action America is an utter embarrassment. 

  • Phil Jones

    You don’t really need a reason to be embarrassed by America. People like you walk around all day looking for reasons to hate the greatest and most free society that this planet has ever seen.
    I almost laughed at your: ” substantial evidence to consider deporting all border patrol agents”, but I caught myself, realizing that you may just be mentally challanged.

    U.S. Border Patrol agents are here legally – they are in fact legal U.S. citizens. You libs are taking a giant leap here,..What,..now legal American citizens are to be deported to even the score? 

    You libs,..always good for a laugh, or a groan.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/E4S3WH7CYJHF2563DLTVSOEWLM Chickadee 1

    ANON36912—–IF I DIDNT SPEAK THE LANGUAGE AND HAD DARK SKIN, I WOULDN’T BE HERE ILLEGALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Mark Day

    Now more than every before, investigate reporting on border issues and law enforcment, local and national , needs to be done and supported.  Nobody else is really doing it. Bravo to PBS and
    Need to Know.  –  Mark Day

  • Phillip_hamilton

    this is totaly unreal.  we are trying to keep these folks from coming into our country.  this is our country not theres.  whomever is putting water out for them should be charged for enabling.  that is no different than harboring a criminal. they should be sought out and charged.  if they want to come to our country do it the correct way go through the proper channels.   it is not our fault that there country officals are corrupt.    our border patrol should be doing things by the book not killing or torchering anyone.  we dont need people going against the president and our country’s laws and putting it on tv. 
    it just goes to show how much disrespect they have for our government and laws.   shame on you for disrepecting the american people.

  • Mark Day

     ”we dont need people going against the president and our country’s laws and putting it on tv.”
    Reallt, Phillip.  Then why not tell that to the head brass of the Border Patrol.  In their documented beatings and worse, it appears that severala Border Patrolmen are doing just that. And if they are, it’s appropriate that it be ”put on tv.”  This kind of investigatie reporting is vital if we are all to preserve our freedoms.  An injury to one is an injury to all. 

  • Teri

    I am from San Diego originally and know well the problems that some Border Patrol officers have had with the abuse of power against people.  It is a very difficult job.  Many people travel the border legally with green cards from Mexico every day to work at jobs that are minimum wage… it is those who travel over illegally that is a problem.  There is a lack of safety in these areas for both the illegal immigrants and the Border Patrol.  Most of the time the crime is driven by people who have “bought their way” from abusive money making peopel who traffic human beings.  Those human beings take the risk to lose their money and their identities.
    Something needs to be done about poverty in Mexico and Central America which drives people northward to our expensive but free country.

  • Kareechera

    HOW ABOUT THEY STAY IN THEIR MEXICO AND DEMAND A BETTER LIVING AND TREATMENT FROM IT….instead of demanding rights that MEXICO don’t provide or grant to foreign citizens. To PBS I will never support you again or donate anymore. Let foreigners n illegal n illegal criminals donate….in fact ask MEXICO for donations!
    ANASTACIO YOU WERE A DRUG ADDDICT N LAW BREAKER!!!

  • Karrechera

    Performs YOU ARE AS IGNORANTS AS THEIR COME!! You can’t deport a us citizens.. How about YOU N YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY deport to MEXICO!!!

  • mmdir2005

    What a stupid program this is!  Where is the law to protect the border?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.millis Dan Millis

    Way to go, PBS!  Finally some mainstream journalism on this important problem.

  • Info

    You’re an idiot!

  • Anonymous

    There’s another documentary that should be viewed – a lot less one-sided, and independently produced without the luxury of being broadcast via PBS.  Offers examples of our immigration problems from across the country.   http://www.theycometoamerica.com/

  • Originalborn

    Whites and foriegners are the real illegals…

  • Kbrook998

    This is completely one-sided and really tries to paint a bad picture of an agency doing an important and dangerous job. Try to make your own opinion based on facts. Yes, there are bad people who do bad things. This does not make everyone in the CBP, BP, FBI, POLICE or any other law enforcement corrupt and evil. There will always be evil people in every workplace. They should be though of as individuals not as the entire agency and when they are found they are crucified (as they should be). But, lets not forget most ILLEGAL people crossing the borders are sex offenders, rapists, murderers, and drug mules.  Even the ones claiming to come only to find work are raping the country of its resources, polluting the landscape with their trash, and endangering the lives of anyone in their way in order to escape. Does this sound like innocent victims? The freedoms of this country are meant for IT’S citizens not for FOREIGN bodies but illegals abuse the U.S.’s great freedoms and make a mockery of are own rights and gain more rights then a U.S. citizen. What do you think would happen if you tried to invade Mexico across the desert and got caught by the federal police? Do you think they would give you a fair treatment? Food to eat? Safe place to sleep? TV show to cry on? Free ticket to where ever you came from? NO! you would not get too. The fact is they get better treatment even under arrest then they would back in their own country and complain or lie about anything to try and get a free ticket into the country.

  • Anne

    Let the Mexicans who can type properly in English come right on over. They can take your place in a highly debated, hot button topic, where most people at least attempt to sound educated.

  • Anne

    Let the Mexicans who can type properly in English come right on over. They can take your place in a highly debated, hot button topic, where most people at least attempt to sound educated.

  • Arturo

    All people, like you Kbrook998
    (write your real name or are you a coward?) only show their low IQ, their
    ignorance, and their hate when they post writings like yours. You are right
    when you said crossing a sovereign nation’s border without authorization is
    against the law. You are also right when you state that “we need to make
    comments based on facts”. You also stated that “Yes, there are bad apples who
    do bad things”. In addition to that you said “let’s not forget mist ILLEGAL
    people crossing the borders are sex offenders, rapist, murderers, and drug
    mules”.

     

    Well, stealing,
    raping, lying, betraying, corrupting, deceiving, etc., etc., etc., is also
    against the law. Was not that what your very own ancestors did when they
    “found” this “new land”? And was not in the name of their god that your very
    own ancestors killed the native people, enslaved them, tortured them; took away
    their most basics rights, stole their land, their natural resources and almost
    broke their spirit? And did not, your very own ancestors, committed all this
    atrocities with the excuse that the Native Americans were not humans, that the
    Native Americans were savage, that the Native American were ignorant, and that
    the Native Americans needed Europeans to survive? Survived what? We did not and
    do not need you. Did not your own very own ancestors broke all kinds of moral
    and judicial laws? Did not, your very own ancestors tried to change the Native
    People way of life and forced them to forget their language? Should we, the
    Native People of this Nation, threat your ancestors (can’t do that to them now)
    and people like you the way you and others threat new immigrants who the only
    thing they are doing is to risk their lives crossing the border to put food on
    their families’ table? Should we, the Native People of this nation,
    repatriated, quickly and humanely all your very own ancestors and people like
    you back to where you came from? Immigrants come here to work and not to do
    what your very own ancestors did to millions of Native Americans. Yes there
    are, among new immigrants, bad apples. However, that is a human condition among
    all of us. Now, you tell me, if you are at least a little smart who is the
    savage, the ignorant, and as you put it let’s not forget mist ILLEGAL people crossing
    the borders are sex offenders, rapist, murderers, and drug mules” and law
    breaker? Should we, the Native People of our Nation repatriated, quickly and
    humanely all your ancestors, your family along with you back to where you all
    came from?

    This post goes to all
    of you who think that it is ok to use inhumane treatment against immigrants who
    only broke the law trying to follow a human right? That is the right that every
    human being and creature has, the right to survive. And no, this people do not
    come here to get anything for free. They come here to work and work with
    dignity. You haters, ignorant, low IQ misinformed citizens of this nation, do
    your homework, be informed, do research, know your own history and stop showing
    your low IQ, your ignorance, your hate against immigrants. And do not tell me
    that this is not hate…. You guys know very well, in your heart, that hate is
    the driven force behind all your comments. Do you have the courage to accept
    this fact?

    I doubt that because
    you Kbrook998 and people like you are just a bunch of cowards.

    Arturo

  • Arturo

    All people, like you Kbrook998(write your real name or are you a coward?) only show their low IQ, theirignorance, and their hate when they post writings like yours. You are rightwhen you said crossing a sovereign nation’s border without authorization isagainst the law. You are also right when you state that “we need to makecomments based on facts”. You also stated that “Yes, there are bad apples whodo bad things”. In addition to that you said “let’s not forget mist ILLEGALpeople crossing the borders are sex offenders, rapist, murderers, and drugmules”.

    Well, stealing,raping, lying, betraying, corrupting, deceiving, etc., etc., etc., is alsoagainst the law. Was not that what your very own ancestors did when they“found” this “new land”? And was not in the name of their god that your veryown ancestors killed the native people, enslaved them, tortured them; took awaytheir most basics rights, stole their land, their natural resources and almostbroke their spirit? And did not, your very own ancestors, committed all thisatrocities with the excuse that the Native Americans were not humans, that theNative Americans were savage, that the Native American were ignorant, and thatthe Native Americans needed Europeans to survive? Survived what? We did not anddo not need you. Did not your own very own ancestors broke all kinds of moraland judicial laws? Did not, your very own ancestors tried to change the NativePeople way of life and forced them to forget their language? Should we, theNative People of this Nation, threat your ancestors (can’t do that to them now)and people like you the way you and others threat new immigrants who the onlything they are doing is to risk their lives crossing the border to put food ontheir families’ table? Should we, the Native People of this nation,repatriated, quickly and humanely all your very own ancestors and people likeyou back to where you came from? Immigrants come here to work and not to dowhat your very own ancestors did to millions of Native Americans. Yes thereare, among new immigrants, bad apples. However, that is a human condition amongall of us. Now, you tell me, if you are at least a little smart who is thesavage, the ignorant, and as you put it let’s not forget mist ILLEGAL people crossingthe borders are sex offenders, rapist, murderers, and drug mules” and lawbreaker? Should we, the Native People of our Nation repatriated, quickly andhumanely all your ancestors, your family along with you back to where you allcame from?
    This post goes to allof you who think that it is ok to use inhumane treatment against immigrants whoonly broke the law trying to follow a human right? That is the right that everyhuman being and creature has, the right to survive. And no, this people do notcome here to get anything for free. They come here to work and work withdignity. You haters, ignorant, low IQ misinformed citizens of this nation, doyour homework, be informed, do research, know your own history and stop showingyour low IQ, your ignorance, your hate against immigrants. And do not tell methat this is not hate…. You guys know very well, in your heart, that hate isthe driven force behind all your comments. Do you have the courage to acceptthis fact?
    I doubt that becauseyou Kbrook998 and people like you are just a bunch of cowards.
    Arturo

  • mbee1

    What I find interesting is all the wringing of hands and complaints from the liberals who passed a bunch of laws to protect the civil servants like this story idiot border patrol thug from being fired.  The proper approach is the change the law to at will hiring and firing and insist the president enforce the laws on how to deal with illegals.  Since the president is currently ignoring the present law that will not be an easy change in how we deal with illegals.

  • Lislee

    Several years ago, two friends & I volunteered with No More Deaths for three days in mid-July, based at the Byrd Camp in Arivaca. (This was about 30 miles south of Tucson where the day before it had been 107 degrees.) One of our jobs was to carry basic medical supplies along the trails that migrants generally used and to give aid. We came across 2 young men who had such awful blisters on their feet that they could barely walk. We first gave them water then applied antiseptic & band aids and gave them new white socks. They had already decided that they wanted to return to home, so they asked us to call Border Patrol. Another job was to place water jugs along near these areas.
    THIS IS ALL LEGAL; IT’S HUMANE, IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
    Ninty-nine point ninty-nine percent (99.99%) of these people are NOT criminals. What most US citizens don’t understand is the reason these people are trying to come here is because they’re looking for jobs, for a better way of life, for a way to support their families.What would YOU do if there was absolutely no other way feed your family?
    Someone correctly stated in another post that this land (“our land”) was “discovered” by white Europeans who did horrible things to the Native Americans. I might also add that part of Texas, Arizona, & New Mexico all belonged to Mexico before the US took it by force.
    I love this country and because I do, I believe that such atrocities as cited in Need To Know should be loudly called out and rectified. Thank you NTK for doing making these accusations public.

  • Jim Steele

    The name of the angry female agent kicking over the water bottles is Jessica Ward.

  • Jim Steele

    BTW, the majority of these people are not rapists, killers or sex offenders. They are lettuce and fruit pickers who have been doing it for decades.

  • the CANADIAN

    YES I think Americans just like Canadians should consider who they stole the land from in the first place.That is the bottom line… You stole it from both Native and Mexican people who you disrespected and tried to wipe off the face of the earth in more ways than one.Listen America not everyone wants to become an American.Americans have so many things they should be ashamed of.How you treat the weak and disenfranchised is a measure of your virtues as a nation