Dept. of Homeland Security Reviews Border Patrol - NBC 7 San Diego

Dept. of Homeland Security Reviews Border Patrol



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    A governmental review of U.S Customs and Border protection is underway.

    This comes after a rise in agent-involved killings and allegations of excessive force. NBC 7 San Diego has learned that the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General is conducting the review.

    Since 2010 more than a dozen people have allegedly been killed at the hands of border patrol.

    Immigrant rights activist Christian Ramirez  says the deaths span from Texas to San Diego.

    "We had three residents who were killed now we're up to 19 people who have been killed by Border Patrol in a little bit than over two years,” said Ramirez, who's with the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

    The most recent death in San Diego County was Valeria "Munique" Alvarado Tachiquin.

    The mother of five was shot and killed by an undercover Border Patrol agent in Chula Vista  on Sept. 28 after authorities say she tried to flee the scene.

    Back in March, Alexander Martin was stopped by an agent after driving on the wrong side of Interstate 8 near Alpine, when his car exploded after an agent allegedly fired a taser into his vehicle.

    But it was the 2010 death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas who got the attention of Congressional leaders.

    Rojas died after being beaten and tased by border agents in San Ysidro.

    Agents said he was combative and a report by the medical examiner showed he had methamphetamine in his system.

    Still,16 members of Congress sent a letter to the Inspector General, to determine whether the incident was -- in their words -- "emblematic of a broader cultural problem within Customs and Border Protection."

    “I think now the Office of the Inspector General is taking this very seriously and we're hoping they'll get to the bottom what is causing border patrol agents to shoot civilians,” said Ramirez.

    NBC 7 reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and officials responded with this statement:

    "In general, CBP fully cooperates whenever the Office of Inspector General opens an investigation; and out of respect for the investigative process, CBP cannot discuss the nature of Inspector General investigations", said Douglas T. Mosier, CBP Office of Public Affairs/SW Border.

    The outcome of the review is not expected until the end of next year.