Immigration
Former Border Agent Denounces Use of "Shadow Equipment" to Erase Evidence of Crimes Against Migrants
Jenn Budd worked for six years in the mountains of San Diego and recounts illegal Border Patrol procedures. Today she helps migrants and spoke to LPO.

 According to Budd, if Democrats are unable to control Congress in the November election, the impunity that has hidden abuses on the border with Mexico for decades will prevail in the United States. Former border patrol officer Jenn Budd is a unique case. She has just published a book on corruption entitled "Against the Wall".

"If democrats don't retain a majority in Congress in the next midterm elections, then we'll never know the truth" about teams of officers obstructing justice, "because they're going to get rid of all the documents," Jenn Budd told LPO.

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According to Budd and dozens of civil society organizations in California, the border patrol has teams of officers who spring into action whenever the force is going to be charged with abuse or corruption.

The so-called "shadow teams obstruct justice, hide evidence, deport witnesses or accuse them of charges to discredit them," the author said. Being federal agents, they take on investigations without providing information, until they have disposed of evidence against them.

"The So-called shadow teams obstruct justice, hide evidence, deport witnesses or accuse them of charges to discredit them."

"We have an agency that is repeatedly accused of corruption and allegedly investigates itself in every incident where its officers commit abuses or acts of corruption," she added. She knows what she is talking about: She worked as a border patrol intelligence officer for six years in the mountains near San Diego.

"The border is a big bottleneck: crossing is harder than ever and there are more people who want to cross"

As an example of the actions of these teams, she cites the case of a man who was beaten to death by a dozen officers while he was handcuffed behind his back in 2010. Although the coroner determined that his death was a homicide, a shadow team took the case, removed it from the police, and concluded that the handcuffed man bit officers who gave him paralyzing electric shocks and kicks.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calls trained groups of officers Critical Incident Response Teams, or CIRTs.

After a strong campaign by organizations and democrat congressmen against the employment of these groups, last May the CBP office announced that it had "the intention of dismissing" the CIRT teams.

Jenn Budd at the wall on the border with Mexico.

CBP's National Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a memo that after 35 years, the activities of CIRT will conclude when the current fiscal year ends, on the last day of September of the current year.

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But Jenn Budd says that if those teams stop operating, authorities should keep all documents from the alleged investigations, which she says are cover-ups "of all kinds of crimes, from sexual abuse, homicides, excessive use of force or use of weapons against unarmed people."

"Shadow teams covered up fatal car accidents in which officers were at fault, cleared the scenes of all proof or evidence, and prevented other authorities from investigating."

"In the 300 pages of my book, I could not cover all the criminal acts of the border patrol, but with the end of the shadow teams, the evidence can be relevant to request that this agency be replaced with another that takes care of the border with integrity," she said.

She said that now it will all depend on the Democrats winning a majority of congressional seats in November. "If the Democrats don't win, they're going to destroy all the documentary information that demonstrates the acts that were covered by the border patrol for over 35 years, and we're never going to know the truth, and worse, things are going to continue as always," she said.

Budd went from being an officer apprehending migrant crossing the border to being an activist and author, as well as helping migrants on both sides of the border.

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