What's the problem?
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, is the largest law enforcement agency in the country. Unlike other federal agencies, its officers benefit from extraordinary and unprecedented powers. Immigration officers are able to stop and frisk people and racially profile border residents. They can stop, interrogate and search children on their way to school, parents on their way to work, and families going to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store, well inside the United States --all done without a warrant or reasonable suspicion. The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect us against unreasonable searches and seizures, which is why every other federal law enforcement agency requires either a warrant or "reasonable grounds" for an officer to act without a warrant.
What's the solution?
The Southern Border Communities Coalition calls on Congress to add a "reasonable grounds" standard in the statute governing the Department of Homeland Security, specifically sections (a)(1) and (a)(3) of 8 USC 1357, which would strengthen our protections against unreasonable interrogation, searches, and entry onto private property.
What you can do to help?
Help rein in the extraordinary powers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency by contacting your state and federal legislators and demanding that they hold this agency accountable. You can also sign up for the monthly Southern Border Communities Coalition newsletter to stay current with border-related information.