Links to resources created, complaints filed, and media coverage of ACLU's U.S.-Mexico Border Litigation Project funded by Avina Americas


March 2013 Hill Briefing: An Agency Out of ControlDelivered by Attorney James Duff Lyall

September 2013 Testimony for Ad-hoc Congressional Hearing – Delivered by Attorney James Duff Lyall. Regarding documentation of abuses in Southern Arizona and the lack of oversight and accountability among border enforcement agencies delivered Septemeber 13th in Nogales, Arizona at ad hoc hearing convened by Representative Grijalva.

March 2014 Letter to U.N. Committee on Human Rights as part of U.S. Periodic Review of ICCPR, calling attention to the expanded militarization of border communities, which has led to an alarming rised in deaths along the border in potential violation of the right to life (ICCPR Article 6); abuses in detention that may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ICCPR Article 7); and traumatic family separations that raise human rights concerns (ICCPR Article 17 and Article 23). 

January 2015 letter written to Deputy Secretary of Department of Homeland Security arguing in order to fully comply with TVPRA and protect the best interest of children, DHS should hire welfare professionals and place them at CBP stations to increase monitoring and reduce abuse and mistreatment of children.

February 2015 Statement on the failure to return belongings to deportees targeted at encouraging governments in Central America and Mexico to raise the issues at the Universal Periodic Review of the U.S. before the UN Human Rights Council, on May 11th, 2015. Thirty six organizations throughout Latin America signed on the letter and are distributing to their countries’ governments to request they question the U.S. about this abuse. (In Spanish) 


SB 1070 – May 2014 comprehensive settlement overhauling South Tucson Police Department practices regarding immigration enforcement policies, agreeing to place significant limitations on officers’ involvement in immigration enforcement.

CBP Abuse Lawsuit – February 2015 lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its failure to produce records related to the abuse and mistreatment of children in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its sub-agency, the U.S. Border Patrol. 

Checkpoints – November 2014 lawsuit on behalf of residents of Arivaca, Arizona who were denied their right to observe Border Patrol activity at a the local checkpoint.

Roving Patrols – April 2014 FOIA lawsuit regarding Border Patrol extensive and wide-ranging interior enforcement operations far from the border, seeking agency policies, stop data and complaints, among other things, about checkpoints and roving patrols.

Coerced Voluntary Departures: August 2014 historic settlement on behalf of individuals coerced into signing voluntary departures. The settlement not only provides an opportunity for many individuals who were deported from California to return to the United States and reunite with their families but also mandates changes in immigration enforcement agencies’ practices to protect immigrants in the future.

Cross Border Shooting: July 2014 lawsuit on behalf of the family of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was killed by Border Patrol on October 10th, 2012 across the international border. We are currently fighting the government’s attempt to dismiss the case on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution does not apply to Mexicans on the Mexico side of the border. 


Complied list of legal resources in Southern Arizona (PDF) 

Your Rights with Border Patrol - Document created and distributed in the community to ensure indiviudals know their constitutional rights with Border Patrol. (En Español)

Border Communities Under Siege - web hub on ACLU National's website highlighting abuse at border.

Border Rights Info Card (in English and Spanish)


Border Abuse Coverage - Media stories covering border abuse and border issues. (