Yet another intrusive body search by U.S. Border Patrol agents is being reported today.
ACLU lawyer Laura Schauer Ives told media members that the ACLU will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who says she was strip searched and vaginally probed by agents before being taken to a nearby hospital for more invasive examinations. At the hospital, the woman was subjected to x-rays, body scans, and a forced bowel movement. The lawsuit is being filed as a sexual assault claim.
The lawsuit will be filed against the U.S. Border Patrol. The search happened in December as the unnamed woman was crossing from Mexico into El Paso, Texas. No drugs were ever found on the woman.
“It’s terrifying,” Schauer Ives said. “I think law enforcement has been emboldened, particularly where it comes to drug interdiction. It’s kind of anything goes. You couple that with drug interdiction at the border and you have a recipe for serious civil liberties violations.”
The US Border Patrol did not return requests for comments about the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the latest of several against law enforcement agencies along the US-Mexico border. In recent days, news broke of New Mexico residents being forced to undergo anal probings at nearby hospitals after being pulled over for minor traffic violations by police.
The two men subjected to the searches, David Eckert and Timothy Young, were both forced to pay thousands of dollars in hospital bills for the searches. No drugs were found on either of the men.
The main difference between those cases and this latest lawsuit is that, according to Schauer Ives, the police had no search warrant for the woman subjected to the probing.