Since January 2023, the U.S. Government has mandated the CBP One app for asylum seekers, claiming it’s the key to entry. Our report delves into the last six months, revealing the app’s horrible impact on asylum seekers. This isn’t just about technology, it’s about humanity. This report finds that the focus on the app has eroded the right to access asylum in the United States. Asylum seekers lack access to information, technology, and funds needed to use CBP One, leading to the exploitation of the most vulnerable people seeking safety. Asylum is a guaranteed right under U.S. and International Law, yet forcing asylum seekers to use an app like CBP One violates this right.
Reporter Melissa del Bosque recently traveled to the Ajo Border Patrol facility near Tucson in the midst of a blazing heatwave. Residents of Ajo had been raising their voices in alarm: Border Patrol was holding people in chain-link cages outside despite the severe danger of exposure. The people of Ajo led efforts to conduct a stakeout at the facility – documenting Border Patrol’s practice and demanding the release of all people being held in the enclosures. We echo the cries of people in Ajo: people on the move deserve a bare minimum of humane treatment and respect. Trapping people in need of protection, including women and children, in the middle of the desert in the middle of 108 degree heat is a shocking travesty and dangerous display of cruelty.
“These offices were created to take complaints about abuses or violations of human rights and civil rights to investigate them and create policy recommendations. But really, overall, we’ve seen a lack of response from these offices and a lack of real accountability for these agents involved.”— Zoe Martens, Advocacy Coordinator
Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the federal government’s largest civilian law enforcement agency, has a persistent problem of human rights abuse with little to no accountability.