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January 24, 2022

House & Senate Committee Leaders Request GAO Audit of CBP ‘Critical Incident Teams’

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Chairs of the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees, House and Senate Judiciary Committees, and House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting it conduct a review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) use of Critical Incident Teams along the southwest border. The letter – sent by 10 Committee and Subcommittee Chairs – was prompted by a complaint from a civil rights organization that alleges CBP utilizes Critical Incident Teams to investigate and cover-up incidents involving potential misconduct by CBP agents. This review would investigate these deeply concerning allegations while providing Congress with needed information on the activities of the Critical Incident Teams.
“According to CBP, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains teams with specialized evidence collection capabilities that collect and process evidence related to CBP enforcement activities and critical incidents,” the Chairs wrote. “We would like to better understand the roles and responsibilities of these Critical Incident Teams, including their authorities, activities, training, and oversight.”

The request letter was signed by:
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Gary Peters (D-MI)
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Richard Durbin (D-IL)
House Committee on Oversight & Reform Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)
Senate Judiciary Committee Immigration, Citizenship, & Border Safety Subcommittee Chair Alex Padilla (D-CA)
House Homeland Security Committee Border Security, Facilitation, & Operations Subcommittee Chair Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA)
Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Government Operations & Border Management Subcommittee Chair Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
House Judiciary Committee Immigration & Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
House Oversight & Reform Committee Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chair Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

Link to letter

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Press Contact

(House Homeland) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978

(Senate Homeland) Jay Bhargava at 202-435-4680

(House Judiciary) Dan Rubin/Kayla Hamedi at 202-225-3951

(Senate Judiciary) Emily Hampsten at 202-228-5643

(House Oversight) Nelly Decker at 202-226-5181