By Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic
December 10, 2014
PHOENIX — U.S. authorities often needlessly endanger deportees by sending them back across the border into Mexico without returning their money, IDs, cellphones, medicine and other belongings, a human-rights groups charges in a report released Wednesday.
No More Deaths, an Arizona-based group that runs a project to help deportees recover their property, said that through surveys of deportees and documenting 1,481 requests for help since 2011, it found that deportees are dispossessed three ways:
• Often, the Border Patrol and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement simply fail to return money and belongings taken from migrants when they're apprehended. No More Deaths attributed this in part to a failure to coordinate between the agencies, and in part to Border Patrol and ICE practices that the group said conflict with the agencies'own regulations and policies.
• When money is returned, deportees often are given checks or debit cards that either can't be used or cashed in Mexico or that require exorbitant international fees to do so.
• Sometimes, agents or officers steal money. No More Deaths' report listed nine cases in which deportees and witnesses said their money was taken and kept by Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, U.S. Marshall's Service employees, or state or local officers or deputies.[...]
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