Report: Customs officers turned away asylum seekers in US
TECATE, Calif. (AP) — An inspector general’s report says customs officers at the Tecate, California, border crossing illegally turned away asylum seekers after they entered the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also found that customs officers were positioning themselves near the line that separates the U.S. and Mexico to block asylum seekers from trying to request protection.
But the officers were a several feet behind the international line, and some migrants were within U.S. boundary when they were redirected.
Officers said the Tecate facility wasn’t equipped to detain or process asylum seekers and so they directed them to another port about 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) away.
Investigators said that put Mexican asylum seekers in particular danger by making them travel through the country they were attempting to flee.