Questions were raised on whether the CBP Agent profiled the woman before questioning her about her status.
Rio Grande City – A video surfaced on social media that depicted a woman being detained by a Customs and Border Protection Agent (CBP) at a Rio Grande City shopping center last Saturday. The woman, Leticia Garcia of Harlingen, TX, was leaving the shopping center with a family member, when US CBP Patrol units pulled them over and began questioning the pair. It was at this time that Garcia’s family member began filming the ordeal.
The family member can be heard asking the agents “Why are you harassing us?” as one of the agents instructs Garcia to exit the vehicle.
Despite the perceived profiling by the agents, the woman ultimately was determined to being in the country illegally.
According to Fox KTXV, Mrs. Garcia was detained for five days and already had a date to present herself at an immigration hearing in Harlingen. Mrs. Garcia is married to a U.S. citizen, and has been in the country for at least 10 years. According to U.S. Immigration Law, simply marrying a U.S. doesn’t automatically change status for immigrants, and if crossed illegally without inspection from a Border Officer, the immigrant would have to arrange change of status in their native country.
Mrs. Garcia’s questioning and detainment has many in the Rio Grande Valley on edge, especially more so now that SB 4, an anti-sanctuary cities bill that would allow local law enforcement to inquire on the immigration status on those they suspect may be in the U.S. illegally. Local illegal immigration advocacy groups believe this could lead to increases of racial profiling. In addition, they also fear that illegal immigrants would be afraid to come forward in the event of reporting crime, fearful of being questioned about their immigration status. However, no statics have been provided that show illegal immigrants actively report criminal activity in substantial numbers.