Southern Arizona residents say Border Patrol agents are using excessive force, engaging in illegal searches and seizures, and stopping and detaining people without explanation while roving on patrols up to 60 miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border, says the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says the scores of complaints it has received in Arizona are similar to ones raised in a lawsuit recently settled in Washington state, reports the Arizona Republic.
ACLU attorney James Duff Lyall said his group is filing a complaint tomorrow to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, to the DHS' Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and to the Department of Justice. Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice settled an ACLU lawsuit over roving Border Patrol practices in Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Customs and Border Protection didn't admit any wrongdoing, but it agreed to train agents at the Port Angeles, Wash., station on how to abide by Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures. Chris Bauder of the National Border Patrol Council rejected the notion that agents are acting unlawfully.