Crowley introduces bill to hold ICE, Border Patrol agents accountable

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Sending a message that it is time to push back against the broad autonomy given to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in their ongoing crackdown on immigrants, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) announced new legislation last Friday that would mandate stricter scrutiny and oversight of ICE agents and CBP officers by establishing a formal record-keeping process of all stops and searches by the two agencies.

The Department of Homeland Security Accountability and Transparency Act would require ICE and CBP officers to report every time they stop an individual and submit details of that interaction to Congress. Under current law, the officers are not required to disclose this information unless there is an arrest of force used by the officer.

“After years of reports of unnecessary force and unlawful stops, it is time that ICE and CBP agents are held accountable,” Crowley said. “In order to better protect our country, as well as the rights of every person, we need data on every encounter and stricter oversight of these agencies who’ve become the key enforcers of President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. ICE and Border Patrol agents are no exception to transparency and oversight.”

The legislation was first introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and was co-sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

“Keeping our country safe cannot come at a cost to basic human rights. When border patrol agents question bus and train passengers about their immigration status, they aren’t required to collect any information about why they targeted a particular person or what happened during their encounter,” Gillibrand said. “Congress has a responsibility to make sure there are transparency and accountability during these stops. This legislation would help ensure that our agents are serving the public as effectively as possible without violating people’s basic human rights.”

Homeland Security and ICE have increasingly used forceful tactics when stopping and apprehending immigrants in the United States, according to Crowley. In a stark contrast to previous policies, President Trump’s administration has empowered ICE agents to arrest immigrants in hospitals, at courthouses, and in houses of worship. Crowley’s Department of Homeland Security Accountability and Transparency Act would require any ICE or CBP officer or agent to disclose, among other things, the reason for stopping the individual, the individual’s characteristics, if force was used or if an arrest was made, and the badge number of the law enforcement officer present. This data would be reported to Congress and would be accessible to the public.

Crowley’s bill is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Immigration Coalition and Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Forum, the Southern Border Coalition, the Asian American Federation and the Niskanen Center.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, June 7, 2018
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Reader feedback

THINK from Queens says:
DRAIN THE SWAMP OF Crowley, a FAKE DEMOCRAT who actually sides with the Republicans and his RICH constituents. Ask him why he voted with the Republicans who were against Medicare for all.

This CROOKED CORRUPT LIAR serves his constituents, the big banks, Wall Street and the 1%, but NOT the hard working people.

THROW HIS A*S out of office this election year.
June 7, 8:25 am
Illegal from Queens says:
If you're illegal, you're should have no rights here at all. You are a criminal from the second you crossed the border illegally.
June 7, 11:45 am
Helton from Flushing says:
Let's review...

1) The Times Ledger lies when they state as a fact and not an opinion..."ongoing crackdown on immigrants". They know they should say "ongoing crackdown on ILLEGAL immigrants."

...Hey TL - Save you opinion for the editorial pages where it belongs - not within a supposed news story.

2) Crowley is wasting valuable time and $$ protecting illegals. That's what he thinks he was elected to do? Isn't that acting as an accomplice to a felony crime?

3) Crowley is using my tax $$ - the $$ of NY U.S. citizens, to fight for criminals. If that isn't the biggest middle finger to law abiding taxpayers then I don't know what is.

4) Crowley took an oath when he joined Congress, which states, in part..."I, Joseph Crowley, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The Constitution prohibits illegal aliens. Crowley should be in jail. But the sheep here in NY keep voting for the crook. So who's the bigger fool - Crowley or the dunces who vote for him? The dunces.
June 7, 12:34 pm
what is wrong with Crowley from Queens says:
Crowley is having a love affair it seems with those here illegally. Is it that he and his financial backers are incapable of mowing their own lawns and cleaning their own houses so that they need cheap illegal labor? Must be. Thankfully our President with his degree from Wharton recognizes that the word illegal means that these people are criminals and therefore is looking to rid America of criminals by deporting as many of these cheaters as possible. I love feeling protected.
June 10, 11:37 am
The Venerable Stan from Flushing says:
The concept of someone being a criminal just because they want to walk the streets of America is just WRONG. The concept of kicking someone out of America, just because they want to work & earn a living is WRONG. If those things are illegal, our laws need to be changed.
June 11, 10:28 am
stan not the man from queens says:
Nobody is stopping foreigners from walking the streets but to become citizens we have laws. Get with it.
June 12, 1:03 pm

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