Border Patrol Offers Cash for Undocumented Immigrants, Report Says


A report by New York-based immigrant rights group Families for Freedom (FFF) and New York University’s Immigrants Rights Clinic claims the U. S. Border Patrol encourages its agents to apprehend undocumented immigrants through many incentive programs that include cash bonuses, vacation awards, and gift cards from stores such as Home Depot and Macys. What might be more surprising is the practice is prevalent along the Canadian border.
Fox News Latino said that according to the report, “There has long been anecdotal evidence that USBP’s ‘show me your papers’ policing results in the harassment, arrest and detention of many individuals who are lawfully present. The report also said, “Those caught in USBP’s dragnet include U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, tourists, student visa-holders and persons with proper authorization to work in the United States.”
The United States Border Patrol denied the allegations. According to a statement, “No such practice of paid incentives and awards for specific human targets or enforcement actions has ever occurred within the Border Patrol, nor will it ever occur within the ranks of any CBP component.”
Looking into the cases in the Border Patrol’s Rochester, N.Y. and the Buffalo sectors, FFF found that agents received bonuses if they detained undocumented immigrants of up to $2,500 a year per agent. In the Buffalo sector alone, the total cash awards in 2003 were $6,000 and in the fiscal year 2011, they went up to $194,890
There were also reports of 300 cases with wrongful arrest. The majority of the detentions occurred with people of color from places like Africa, South and East Asia, and the Caribbean.
The report said, “Every one of these people arrested suffers the humiliation and inconvenience of being taken from trains and buses carrying their belongings, often in the middle of the night and holding the hands of small children.” But CBP insists it does not tolerate racial profiling.
The Border Patrol said in a statement, “Our officers and agents are trained in how to recognize people and situations that present a potential threat or violation of law without regard to race.”
The FFF argued that the Department of Homeland Security needs to watch over the Border Patrol for any unnecessary and wrongful acts. The report stated, “these programs are not tied to any enforcement priorities and impose hardship on all persons, and especially persons of color who seek to live and travel throughout the United States.”