"Agents do whatever they want, without fear of being disciplined by their superiors. And that’s a real problem: No one—not Congress, not DHS, not U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol’s parent agency and a division of DHS)—is holding agents accountable when they violate the law. Agents feed off that sense of impunity, which in turn leads to more rights violations.
The countless stories I’ve heard of illegal stops and searches, bullying treatment and excessive use of force—including numerous unprovoked killings—by Border Patrol agents make it clear that the agency’s many problems result from tremendous failures of leadership at every level.
Routine acts of mistreatment, and even cruelty, are why a growing number of people have come to view Border Patrol as a kind of occupying army—a paramilitary gang of thugs. Still, despite all the notoriety Border Patrol has earned in recent years, many outside the Southwest still do not understand how bad the situation has become." - James Lyall, July 29, 2014.