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CBP detaining migrants in open-air sites along the border

IRAP, along with six other organizations, filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) asking for it to take action to end Border Patrol’s practice of detaining migrants at open-air sites along the U.S.-Mexico border without providing food, water, or other basic necessities, sometimes for days at a time.

Our client

The 88-page complaint is the second complaint filed this year calling for an end to the agency’s inhumane treatment of migrants at open-air detention sites along the U.S.-Mexico border, specifically in southern California. For several months, Border Patrol officers have been requiring asylum seekers to wait outdoors overnight and sometimes for days at a time at outdoor sites without adequate access to water, food, sanitation, medical care, or protection from the elements. At least one migrant has died while detained in an open-air site since the first complaint was filed by Southern Border Communities Coalition in May 2023.


Our clients and other organizations assisting migrants are very concerned that conditions at Border Patrol’s open air detention sites will become more deadly with the colder winter weather.

Case status

IRAP filed the complaint with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) on behalf of Al Otro Lado, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Border Kindness, and Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC).

Follow the Case

  • The Manila Times: Al Otro Lado condemns “new normal” open air camps for migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border

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