Padilla Welcomes Disbanding of Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, welcomed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus’s announcement of the long overdue elimination of Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams (BPCITs) by the end of this fiscal year.
“BPCITs are not the proper authority to investigate use of force incidents by CBP officers and agents,” said Senator Padilla. “These teams have been investigating their own agents without official jurisdiction for decades and there have been numerous disturbing reports of BPCITs interfering with law enforcement investigations to shield CBP officers and agents. Public safety depends on public trust and accountability. I will continue to monitor the disbanding of BPCITs to ensure that proper records are kept in order to get a full accounting of their actions.”
Padilla has been vocal in highlighting concerns with Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams and the need to bring greater transparency and accountability to CBP. During a Senate Judiciary Committee DHS oversight hearing in November, Padilla pressed Secretary Mayorkas about the issue, highlighting the case of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a Californian, who was killed by CBP agents in 2010. Last year, Padilla sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the United States at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting a review of the BPCITs.