Border Agents in California Illegally Turned Away Asylum Seekers: Inspector General

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Motorists heading to the United States from Tecate, Mexico, wait along the U.S. border wall to pass through the port of entry on Jan. 27, 2019. (Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Motorists heading to the United States from Tecate, Mexico, wait along the U.S. border wall to pass through the port of entry on Jan. 27, 2019. (Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

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An inspector general’s report says customs officers at the Tecate, California, border crossing illegally turned away asylum seekers after they entered the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also found that customs officers were positioning themselves near the line that separates the U.S. and Mexico to block asylum seekers from trying to request protection.

But the officers were a several feet behind the international line, and some migrants were within U.S. boundary when they were redirected.

Officers said the Tecate facility wasn’t equipped to detain or process asylum seekers and so they directed them to another port about 40 miles away.

Investigators said that put Mexican asylum seekers in particular danger by making them travel through the country they were attempting to flee.

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