The power of CBP officers

“This officer squeezed my breasts hard and went into my underwear and in my vagina with her finger. She did this with the same glove that she did 3 other women before me!” This is what a 52-year-old woman wrote to a US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) official.

The Washington Post published on August 19, 2018 a horrifying story about how CBP officers deal with women arriving in the USA. The country has a fake president who lost the popular vote, but due to the archaic election system the Electoral College appointed him president anyway. This happened 4 times before in the history of the USA.

With a pussy grabber in the White House the woman’s story does not come as a surprise. She did not receive hush money like a number of other women did after sexual encounters with Donald Trump. But the 52-year-old did file a lawsuit that the US government settled for $500,000 (€435,000), paid for by the tax payer.

She is not the only woman who has been harassed by CBP. This is what you can expect in a country where the president orders to separate children from their parents when they enter the USA illegitimately. Interestingly, Trump’s grandfather was an immigrant from Germany and his third wife Melania is an immigrant from Slovenia.

Quite a few women were not as lucky as Melania. CBP officers harassed them on arrival in or return to the USA. The US government has settled some of the litigation cases before they could go to trial, thus avoiding potentially incriminating testimony from CBP officers accused of wrongdoing. Six of the lawsuits resulted in financial settlements costing taxpayers more than $1.2 million (€1.1 million). Others are pending, while 1 claim lost in a jury trial.

CBP officials decline to comment on any specific litigation, settled or pending. A spokesman says that misconduct is taken “seriously” and that “our mission is to facilitate legitimate travel and trade while preventing illicit drugs, weapons or other contraband from entering our country.” This is the typical response of an agency that wants the public to believe that it functions very well.

The reality is different. A lawsuit filed in San Diego federal court on behalf of a Hispanic 16-year-old girl - identified as C.R. - alleges that CBP strip-searched her in September 2017 when she and her adult sisters returned from a family visit to Mexico.

Female officers take C.R. aside and allegedly tell the tearful girl to disrobe, hand over a sanitary pad, and squat and cough “while officers probed and shined a flashlight at her vaginal and anal areas,” the lawsuit says.

But US Department of Justice attorneys representing officers demand to dismiss C.R.’s suit for a bureaucratic reason arguing that it would not have been filed properly. This is, of course, considerably more important than that the girl was not treated properly.

It is not by chance that 1 day after the Post published the devastating story about CBP the US Department of Homeland Security issued 2 press releases with similar titles. One sings the praise of CBP (“The Life Saving Missions of CBP”) and the other is an ode to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“The Life Saving Missions of ICE”). This kind of propaganda is daily routine in Putin's Russia, with which Trump has a warm relationship.

Related: “Even more intimate pat-downs in USA

Tags: Customs and Border Protection, strip-search

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