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PNS Daily Newscast - November 19, 2018. 


More than 1,200 missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: A pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; and concerns that proposed changes to 'Green Card' rules favor the wealthy.

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Report: Border Patrol "Scattering" Tactics Inhumane, Deadly

A report criticizes the U.S. Border Patrol for often driving migrants into remote areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, where many of them get lost or die. (vichinterlang/iStockphoto)
A report criticizes the U.S. Border Patrol for often driving migrants into remote areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, where many of them get lost or die. (vichinterlang/iStockphoto)
December 9, 2016

LAREDO, Texas - The U.S. Border Patrol purposely drives migrants into remote, desolate areas, causing hundreds to get lost and disappear each year, according to a new report by two immigrants' rights groups.

Researchers combed through reports made to the Missing Migrant Hotline of the group La Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, or Human Rights Coalition. They also surveyed dozens of people deported from the United States to Mexico.

Geoffrey Boyce, a volunteer with the group No More Deaths, said they found 460 cases of people who vanished in 2015 alone - most while crossing brushlands in south Texas, the Arizona Uplands or the Chihuahuan or Sonoran deserts.

"And oftentimes, what we see are small groups of agents encountering large groups of people and essentially scattering the groups," he said. "Folks disappear into remote mountains and canyons and are never heard from again."

The report estimated that 8,600 people have died trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States since the 1990s. In response to the report, the Customs and Border Protection agency said it works to educate migrants about the dangers of illegal border crossings and trains its agents in Emergency Medical Technician and search-and-rescue techniques.

Boyce said the "chase and scatter" tactics are part of a "prevention through deterrence" strategy put into place with Operation Gatekeeper in 1994.

"It expressly stated their intention to push crossing out into these remote and hostile areas, to use it as a barrier to unlawful crossings," he said. "This is pushing people out further into harm's way."

The report from the Arizona-based groups concluded that there is no safe way to catch people trying to cross in remote areas. The groups are calling on Congress to rewrite immigration policy to make it more humane and to work to alleviate the violence and poverty that motivates people to try to emigrate to the United States.

The report is online at thedisappearedreport.org.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX