Immigrant advocacy groups filed nearly a dozen complaints and lawsuits against US Customs and Border Protection forces today.
They claimed federal agents and officers mistreat and discriminate against illegal immigrants and US citizens alike.
The groups alleged that officers at Dulles International Airport were complicit in sending a four-year-old girl to Guatemala without giving her parents a chance to retrieve her.
Officers also detained a naturalised citizen who had been working with farmworkers in New York, kept women in cold detention cells in Texas and lied on an arrest report that led to an illegal immigrant's detention, they said.
The complaints are the latest in a series of legal actions taken against US Customs and Border Protection from immigrant advocacy groups, who have long sought to reform the agency's conduct.
"We're aiming to send a message to CBP that it's not above the law," said Trina Realmuto of the Boston-based National Immigration Project.