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Melissa del Bosque, The Border Chronicle, Oct. 4, 2022
"For years, Border Patrol agents have trashed peoples’ documents and possessions at the border. But since the pandemic, the practice has escalated, further dehumanizing asylum seekers and violating the federal agency’s own policy regarding personal belongings, according to the ACLU and a coalition of immigrant advocacy organizations. The requirement that asylum seekers abandon the few possessions they have at the border “strips people of their humanity, and is totally unnecessary,” said Noah Schramm, ACLU’s border policy strategist in Arizona. When institutions violate people’s civil and human rights, they create an environment in which some feel justified in taking violent action, Schramm said, referring to the shooting death of a migrant last week in Texas by the warden of a private immigrant detention center. “The journey in itself is already dangerous,” he said. “And on top of that, they’re forced to abandon the few belongings that they’ve brought with them.” On Monday, the coalition, led by the ACLU of Arizona, sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection commissioner Chris Magnus, who oversees Border Patrol, demanding that the agency stop confiscating and trashing peoples’ belongings, and asking for a meeting to discuss the issue."