Juvenile Repatriation Practices at Border
Patrol Sectors on the Southwest Border
Report Number I-2001-010
SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
We focused our review on the El Centro Border Patrol Sector stations located in El Centro and Calexico, California. We interviewed Border Patrol supervisors, Border Patrol agents, INS Service Processing Center supervisors, one detention enforcement officer, and one detained Mexican juvenile. We reviewed documents involving Mexican juveniles dated from March through May 2001. We also conducted interviews with the San Diego District Juvenile Coordinator, other San Diego District officials, and Western Regional officials.
OIG investigators conducted 1-day unannounced visits at seven additional Border Patrol sectors/stations. They reviewed five days of juvenile detention and repatriation reports (July 10 -14, 2001) and interviewed Border Patrol supervisors, Border Patrol agents, detention enforcement officers, and six juveniles in custody.
El Centro Border Patrol Station
We collected, reviewed, and analyzed forms I-213 and the Unaccompanied Mexican Juvenile Manifests (manifest) from the 90-day period from March 1 through May 31, 2001. The manifest is the only form that documents the release of the unaccompanied Mexican juveniles.
Interviews included two senior Border Patrol agents, four supervisory Border Patrol agents, one assistant patrol agent-in-charge, one assistant chief patrol agent, and the Chief Patrol Agent. We inspected the El Centro Border Patrol Station holding cells.
Calexico Border Patrol Station
We collected, reviewed, and analyzed data from the 90-day period from March 1 through May 31, 2001. This included the manifests, forms I-826/I-213, and records from the ENFORCE database. Because of incomplete information recorded on the manifests, we used data from the form I-826 and ENFORCE to establish the period of detention prior to repatriation. We reviewed the logbook that recorded attempts to contact the Mexican Consulate. Interviews included one senior Border Patrol agents, three supervisory Border Patrol agent, one detention enforcement officer, one patrol agent-in-charge, and one detained Mexican juvenile. We also interviewed the officer-in-charge and the deputy officer-in-charge at the INS Service Processing Center located in El Centro, California. We inspected the Calexico Border Patrol Station holding cells.
Selected Border Patrol Sites
The OIG investigator teams conducted 1-day unannounced visits at seven selected Border Patrol stations on the Southwest Border on Sunday, July 15, 2001. They reviewed arrest and detention records of 178 juveniles from the previous five days and conducted interviews with Border Patrol supervisors, Border Patrol agents, detention enforcement officers, and six juveniles in custody during the visits. These teams reviewed documents from the 5-day period, July 10-14, 2001.
Regional and District Offices
We interviewed three INS Western Region officials: the Deputy Regional Director, the Deputy Assistant Regional Director of Detention and Removal, and the Deputy Assistant Regional Director of the Border Patrol. We also met with the San Diego District Juvenile Coordinator, San Diego Assistant District Director for Detention and Removal, and the Acting Deputy District Director.
We reviewed data on apprehended unaccompanied juveniles from March 1 to May 31, 2001, in the ENFORCE database. This included reviewing INS form I-213, Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien. Form I-213 is produced from data entered into the INS ENFORCE system. It contains information on apprehended juveniles, including the name, age, time and place of apprehension, nationality, name and relationship of any accompanying adults (if accompanied), and the juveniles' immigration status (voluntary return or other).
We also reviewed manifests that list the Mexican juveniles transported by a Border Patrol agent or detention enforcement officer to the Mexican Consulate and, afterwards, to the Mexican border for repatriation. The names of 1 to 12 juveniles may be entered on one manifest. The manifest shows the juvenile's name, date of birth, place of birth, father's name, mother's name, and place and date of arrest. At the bottom left of the manifest is a place for the INS custodial officer's signature and date. On the bottom right of the manifest is a place for the Mexican official's signature, date, time of interview, and stamp. The manifest is the only form that documents the release of the unaccompanied Mexican juveniles.
We matched the ENFORCE data with the corresponding manifest data to determine the length of time the unaccompanied Mexican juveniles were in custody prior to repatriation. We could not always verify the release dates of the Mexican juveniles because INS officers transferring custody of the juveniles did not always record the date and time the juveniles were released to Mexican officials. It was often possible to determine the approximate length of detention and day of release by comparing the names and dates on the manifest to the apprehension date and time shown in the juvenile's individual ENFORCE records.