Lawyers: We Were Detained By Agents

Local News

The U.S. Inspector General is investigating whether Customs and Border Protection is targeting immigration attorneys and advocates. Two attorneys from El Paso say it happened to them.

Hector Ruiz, a lawyer with The Santa Fe Dreamers Project says he was detained for hours as he crossed back from Juarez in December

The agent, he says, told him he worked on terrorism cases and demanded he turn his phone over. Ruiz says he was also asked his thoughts about the Trump administration.

Immigration attorney Taylor Levy says something similar happened to her at a border patrol station in January. 

“He told me it was a crime for me not to answer his questions, and that I would be arrested. He did this because he was protecting America. He repeated that line multiple times.” Says Levy. 

Federal agents can stop people for questioning but as we mentioned the Inspector General’s Office is now investigating after the names of 59 advocates were put on a list to be pulled aside by border agents in San Diego. 

In a statement a CBP spokesperson said, in part: “If misconduct is substantiated, appropriate corrective action will be initiated. CBP is fully committed to earning the public trust through accountability and transparency within the law.” 

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