The U.S. government has paid out more than $60 million in legal settlements where border agents were involved in deaths, driving injuries, alleged assaults and wrongful detention, an analysis of more than a decade of official data reveals, posted The Crime Report.
The Guardian reported that President Trump has been pushing to expand the patrol force at the southern border, insisting recently on Twitter, “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws.” While Trump has ordered National Guard troops to be deployed to provide agents with extra support, the review of settlement data and details found in related court records raises concerns about the agency’s history of interactions with civilians, both native-born and immigrant.
The federal government has settled at least 20 wrongful death claims, paying more than $9 million to the families of people killed since 2003, in incidents including shooting, beating, use of Tasers and collisions with vehicles. Nearly $47 million has been paid out for damages resulting from alleged reckless driving by border agents. Of more than 1,300 such payments, a review of 40 cases with available court records found six crashes which were deadly and 18 that cited grave injuries including amputations and disability. Four people, including two U.S. citizens and a legal permanent resident, received settlements for being wrongly deported. Nine people, including three citizens, two immigrants with legal status and two tourists, received settlements for illegal detentions of between four days and two months. More than $650,000 was paid out in settlements in four cases where four people were shot by border agents and survived.
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