On August 1, 2022, the ACLU of Arizona, along with the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, filed a letter with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus asking for an investigation and cessation of the Yuma Border Patrol Sector’s practice of confiscating religious headwear from Sikh individuals seeking asylum. The letter argued that such confiscations violate individuals’ religious freedom rights, federal law, and CBP’s own non-discrimination policy.
The ACLU of Arizona, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and Sikh Coalition, along with over 160 other organizations sent a second letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on August 22, 2022. The letter requested DHS investigation on the broader property confiscation issue to include all religious articles of faith, personal belongings, and access to religious-compliant meals.
Counsel: ACLU of Arizona | ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief
- WOLA, Taken Away: U.S. Border Agents’ Widespread Confiscation of Migrants’ Valuable Personal Items
- Border Patrol Agents Are Trashing Sikh Asylum-Seekers’ Turbans (theintercept.com)
- ACLU, new report details how Sikh asylum seekers are forced to remove their turbans at the border | Fronteras (fronterasdesk.org)
- Rep. Grijalva Leads 22 Members of Congress Demanding Answers from CBP and ICE on Migrants’ Missing Documents and Possessions, including Religious Items | Rep. Grijalva Lidera a 22 Miembros del Congreso en Exigir Respuestas de CBP y ICE Con Respecto a documentos y posesiones de migrantes perdidos, incluyendo artículos religiosos – Raúl Grijalva (house.gov)
- Rep. Grijalva Announces GAO Acceptance of Review on CBP Handling Asylum Seekers’ Personal Property – Raúl Grijalva (house.gov)