AILA: CBP Finally Taking Steps in Right Direction

Friday, May 30, 2014

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

AILA: CBP Finally Taking Steps in Right Direction

WASHINGTON, DC — T. Douglas Stump, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to the announcement from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that it was releasing the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report on CBP Use of Force and also making publicly available the updated CBP Use of Force Policy Handbook:

"After months of suppression, DHS's decision to release the PERF report is welcome news. But for AILA, its members, and most importantly immigrants, the proof will be in the pudding.

"This announcement is a step in the right direction but we need to see whether Homeland Security Secretary Johnson and CBP Commissioner Kerlikowske are able to make good on their stated commitment to real reform in an agency that has operated with impunity in the border region for years. Reforms to CBP must not stop with changes to the Use of Force Policy Handbook. That's simply not enough. CBP needs systemic fundamental reform to make its policies and procedures more transparent, and its practices more accountable, fair and humane.

"So far, Secretary Johnson's much anticipated review of deportation policies seems to be focused on ICE enforcement-as he testified to yesterday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. However, that review cannot ignore CBP because the 100 mile wide swath of 'border' is where the bulk of removals are happening. The shame of it is, the vast majority of those removals bypass immigration courts and leave due process behind, resulting in the deportation of people with U.S. Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident family members in the U.S. Those are not the people who should be priorities for enforcement-especially since many would qualify for legal status under many reform proposals-but because CBP is using a zero tolerance approach on nearly everyone it apprehends and families are being torn apart.

"This step toward greater transparency is a good start. If Secretary Johnson and Commissioner Kerlikowske are serious about real reform, CBP will continue and expand upon this path."


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 14053050.