A small group of Customs and Border Safety (CBP) officers have filed a lawsuit alleging the company racially profiles and humiliated scores of Black vacationers shifting between the U.S. and Canada.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court docket, three Black CBP officers accuse the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) of routinely focusing on and harassing Black vacationers on the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario. Of the 275 CBP officers who work at that location, 4 are Black.
Immigration and civil rights advocates have lengthy mentioned CBP and plenty of of its officers have a protracted historical past of racial profiling and being flat-out racist at border crossings. Related lawsuits have been filed towards DHS in Montana, Ohio, Virginia, and different states, however the company has averted any severe repercussions.
In line with USA At the moment, 62% of CBP workers are white and one other 25% are Hispanic and based on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 95% of passengers stopped on the U.S.- Canada border by CBP over a nine-year span have been individuals of shade.
Johnny Grays, a Black CBP officer who has labored for the company for greater than a decade, advised USA At the moment that he’s not solely seen racial discrimination on the company, he was ordered to participate in it. He added that when he and the opposite Black officers complained, they have been ignored, harassed, and retaliated towards. Since submitting his discrimination criticism, a 12 months in the past Grays has been on desk responsibility.
The CBP offers most of its focus and a focus to the border it shares with Mexico. CBP brokers there are tasked with halting unlawful crossings together with drug smuggling. Whereas brokers on the northern border additionally take care of these points, they’re a lot smaller in scale and nearly all of crossers on the northern border are sometimes American and Canadians making an attempt to benefit from the different’s nation.
CBP spokesman Kristoffer Grogan didn’t touch upon the litigation, citing company coverage to not touch upon pending litigation.