Records Shed Light on Border Patrol’s Racial Profiling of Immigrants in Ohio

March 19, 2024
Last modified: 
March 19, 2024

WASHINGTON DC, March 19, 2024 — Newly analyzed government data exposes several concerning enforcement practices employed by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Sandusky Bay station to detain immigrants in northern Ohio. The information released today by the American Immigration Council and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), an Ohio-based legal services organization, confirms reports by local community organizations of widespread use of racial profiling and problematic apprehension practices by both Border Patrol and local law enforcement. The report follows an ongoing investigative project, which analyzed records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and calls for greater transparency and oversight of Border Patrol’s enforcement activities near the nation’s northern border. 

The data sheds light on Border Patrol’s enforcement activities, as well as the agency’s close collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. The findings reveal that Border Patrol agents from the Sandusky Bay station primarily targeted darker skinned Latino males classified as laborers, between the ages of 23-40.

In March 2021, the Council and ABLE filed FOIA requests asking for information about Border Patrol’s immigration enforcement practices in Ohio. The requests focused on Border Patrol’s Sandusky Bay station near Port Clinton, Ohio. The organizations also filed several state public records requests with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).

These findings suggest that Border Patrol agents used local law enforcement agencies to target Latinos who fit a certain profile for enforcement, detention, and removal,said Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director for Transparency at the American Immigration Council. The report underscores the importance of transparency and data collection to hold immigration enforcement agencies accountable and ensure meaningful oversight.” 

“ABLE is proud to partner with the American Immigration Council in our joint FOIA litigation efforts and the creation of this report,” said Kathleen Kersh, Senior Attorney in ABLE’s Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights practice group. “For over fifteen years, our Latinx and farmworker client communities have been targeted by Ohio’s local law enforcement and Border Patrol’s unjust collaboration. The data in this report show what our clients have always known: this collusion unfairly targets Latinx individuals and people of color. Thousands of miles away from the southern border, we see families separated and individuals discriminately fast-tracked through the deportation pipeline.” 

In January 2022, the Council and ABLE filed a lawsuit to compel the government to respond to the organizations’ FOIA requests. The subsequent report analyzes a systematic sample of Form I-213 Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien – a document similar to an arrest report, Border Patrol’s Apprehension Log, and Ohio state records to better understand patterns in enforcement actions along the U.S.-Canada border and share the findings with the public.  

The analysis of Border Patrol’s enforcement data reveals several crucial takeaways: 

  1. Primary targets of immigration enforcement were males, classified as laborers of Latin American origin between the ages of 23 and 40, deemed to have darker skin.   
  2. More than half of arrests noted in the 213s sample were initiated by Ohio local law enforcement. 
  3. Sixty-nine percent of all I-213s in the sample had no noted criminal history. 
  4. Ohio law enforcement officers frequently requested that USBP agents assist them with identification checks even though the vehicle occupants had valid identification. 


For more information, contact:

Elyssa Pachico at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 503 850 8407

Emily Desmond at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), [email protected] or 419 930 2542. 

About Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE)  

ABLE is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, equal justice, and economic opportunity. Learn more at:  

About the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on and Twitter @immcouncil. 


Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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