File photo shows a US Border Patrol official firing a rifle.
US border agents have been found shooting firearms across the Mexican border, killing at least six Mexicans on their native land, a report reveals.
Over the past five years, US agents have shot their guns across the border at least 10 times while killing six natives on Mexican land, a report published this month by the Washington Monthly has found.
“The picture that emerges from this investigation is of an agency operating with thousands of poorly trained rookies and failing to provide the kind of transparency, accountability, and clear rules of engagement that Americans routinely expect of law enforcement agencies,” said investigative reporter John Carlos Frey.
The comment came as Washington debates aspects of the immigration reform, including steps to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, expands visas for highly skilled immigrants and creates measures to strengthen border security.
Rights groups and activists, however, expressed concerns that the reform plan will bring new pressures on illegal immigrants.
“If we increase the Border Patrol force by thousands more, as you say, increase militarization at the border, I think we’re going to have more incidents here. We’re talking about dealing with immigration or immigrants in a militaristic way, as opposed to in a human way. And what we’re seeing now is the result of using guns instead of diplomacy,” said Frey.
Public support for immigration reform has been steadily mounting, with protest rallies routinely held up in major cities across the United States.
On any given day, there are 33,000 people detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who spend an average of 26.5 days behind bars. In 2011, ICE deported nearly 400,000 people, with an annual cost of USD 1.7 billion to hold immigrants.