Border Patrol denies profiling in Ohio

Feb. 26, 2013 at 2:50 PM

CLEVELAND, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Border Patrol filed court documents denying allegations its agents improperly profiled Latinos in northern Ohio.

The quiet battle of legal filings revolves around alleged incidents in which Latino motorists were pulled over or stopped while going about their business for no good reason, sometimes with the assistance of police officers from various communities.

The agency said in recent responses to a pair of lawsuits filed by Latino residents it had done nothing illegal and denied there was any policy condoning profiling, WKYC-TV, Cleveland, said Tuesday.

While the allegations have been pending in court, a recent study from Bowling Green University concluded 83 percent of Border Patrol apprehensions in the area in 2011 were people of Latino origin while a fraction of 1 percent were Canadians.

The study also alleged Border Patrol agents in upstate New York were offered bonuses of cash or vacation time for ramping up arrests, which Cleveland immigration lawyer Philip Eichorn told WKYC raised the likelihood Ohio agents were acting in similarly aggressive fashion.

"You are paying someone to go out and make an arrest," said Eichorn, who is not involved in the Ohio lawsuits. "I don't have any doubt that it's happening here."

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