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house Bill H.R. 1013

Should ICE and CBP Officers Wear Body Cameras?

Argument in favor

ICE and CBP agents are often in contact with vulnerable people whose rights need to be protected. Past abuses by ICE and CBP officers — as well as allegations of other incidents at immigration holding facilities — make it obvious that body cameras are needed for these officers.

John's Opinion
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03/28/2019
Absolutely. All uniformed law enforcement should have to wear them.
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Tristan 's Opinion
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03/28/2019
It’s just like cops. Just federal instead of local.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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03/28/2019
Yes, all authority figures should be required to wear body cameras. How about school lunch standards? On another note.... One week after being sworn in, Sonny Perdue staged a public event at a school in Leesburg, Virginia. The Obama administration had pushed successfully to raise the nutritional requirements of school meals fed to thirty million American schoolchildren, for the first time in twenty years. To receive federal subsidies for the meals they serve, schools are now required to behave more like responsible parents than indifferent ones: more whole grains, more fruits and vegetables, less sodium, no artificially sweetened whole milk, and so on. Concannon expanded the breakfast programs for kids who did not get fed at home—and that meal, too, became more nutritious. “You can’t just serve them pancakes and hot dogs. 🤢Big companies that provided the schools with meals fought back: it was more profitable for them to serve pancakes and hot dogs than fruits and vegetables. But by the end of 2016, America’s children were eating better than they had been in 2008. “Ninety-eight percent of the schools were meeting the new standards,” says Concannon, “and to those that weren’t, that had some problem, we’d say,” We’ll work with you!’” With a wave of his hand Sonny Perdue changed all that, when he declared the Whole Grain standards as being optional. 🤑Predatory Corporate practices at the expense of our children must stop.
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Argument opposed

ICE and CBP officers are dedicated to carrying out their jobs with professionalism and respect for rights. There’s no need to invade these officers’ privacy and add to their already heavy gear kits by requiring them to add body cameras to their uniforms.

Mark's Opinion
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03/29/2019
When Congress starts wearing full time body cameras, then we can have ICE and Border Patrol wear cameras.
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Laurie's Opinion
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03/28/2019
Secure the sovereignty of our nation first.
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Thomas's Opinion
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03/28/2019
If you’re here illegally, they’re here to kick you out and personally I don’t care how they do it because illegals aren’t paying taxes.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1013?

This bill — the ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act — would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Body Patrol (CBP) officers to wear body cameras when on duty. It’d require that these cameras are turned on when the officer or agent begins their shift. Footage from these cameras would be made available during any administrative proceeding, civil action, or criminal prosecution.

Impact

ICE; CBP; unauthorized immigrants; and body cameras.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1013

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to require ICE and CBP officers to wear body cameras while on duty:

“I introduced the ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act to ensure that agents and officers of ICE and CBP wear body cameras when they are engaged in official operations. This bill will help address the numerous concerning reports where immigration agents used coercive methods to extract information and fabricated the testimonies from immigrants, including DACA beneficiaries – Daniel Ramirez Medina, Sara Beltran-Hernandez, Oscar Ramirez, Thermon Brewster, and Jeanette Vizguerra are a few that come to mind. Both undocumented immigrants and green card holders are terrified to leave their homes, and having once been formerly undocumented myself, I know understand this fear and its impact.  That is why this legislation is so important. When the cameras are on, we will be watching to ensure that the civil rights of these individuals are not violated.”

In a joint op-ed in the New York Daily News, Rep. Espaillat, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), and New York public advocate Letitia James wrote that body cameras are needed to help protect everyone’s rights, regardless of immigration status:

“In our fight to resist policies put forth by the Trump administration, we must stand up for the rights of everyone living in the U.S., including immigrants, regardless of their status. Those universal rights are particularly vulnerable during ICE raids and while individuals are initially in federal custody, when the decision to remain silent or to request an attorney could easily determine the outcome of the proceedings. The ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act and the ICE Body Camera Act would require immigration, customs and border patrol agents to wear and use body cameras during field operations, and make footage available for use in court. An accurate record of interactions with agents is imperative, all the more so in light of troubling reports suggesting that immigration agents sometimes use coercive methods to extract information. For example, reports have surfaced on Staten Island alleging that ICE agents showed up at immigrants' homes with a picture of a man, saying they needed help in finding someone who was supposedly dangerous, and that once the door opened ICE agents conducted an arrest. Also on Staten Island, ICE agents allegedly identified themselves as police at the door. Now that Trump has dramatically ratcheted up deportations, many immigrants in New York City and across the United States fear a knock on the door in the middle of the night or checkpoints on their drive home from work. Immigrants are right to be concerned about the possibility of abuse, particularly when individuals detained by ICE have severely limited access to attorneys and to the due process of law or may have limited English proficiency. It is critical that we establish procedures that protect their rights as they face the possibility of deportation.”

In a meeting with House Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he’d be open to body cameras for ICE and CBP if the funding were to be made available through the department.

Rep. Espaillat has been calling for body cameras for CBP and ICE for years. In an August 2, 2017 letter to CBP after government surveillance video obtained by ABC News showed two CBP officers attempting to encourage, or at least permit, a 16-year-old Mexican high schooler to drink from a bottle containing concentrated liquid methamphetamine, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Rep. Espaillat called the officers’ actions “appalling” and advocated for body cameras:

“This incident is incredibly troubling and could have been prevented. It also emphasizes the need for CBP and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] body cameras, as well as proper officer vetting and training. The officer’s actions toward this teenage boy are entirely deplorable and unprofessional.”

ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke says his agency doesn’t comment on proposed legislation, but did say that ICE remains “dedicated to conducting immigration enforcement humanely, respectfully, and with professionalism."

Critics of body cameras point out that some studies show they have no statistically significant effect on the number of use-of-force incidents and civilian complaints recorded in police departments. Others — including the ACLU, which generally supports body cameras — acknowledge that body cameras can bring downsides for privacy. However, to the second point, it’s worth noting that some police departments have policies in place for special circumstances in which officers aren’t allowed to record; and this could be a route for ICE and CBP to take, as well.

This bill has 17 Democratic cosponsors in the current session of Congress. Last Congress, it had 37 Democratic cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteBody cameras have been adopted by police departments in 43 of out of 68 major cities in the U.S. A recent study found that law enforcement officers’ use of body cameras resulted in 93 percent fewer complaints from the public and increased accountability on both sides, helping to quell potentially volatile encounters.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Cylonphoto)

AKA

ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act

Official Title

To require agents and officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to wear body cameras, and for other purposes.

    Absolutely. All uniformed law enforcement should have to wear them.
    Like (171)
    Follow
    Share
    When Congress starts wearing full time body cameras, then we can have ICE and Border Patrol wear cameras.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s just like cops. Just federal instead of local.
    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, all authority figures should be required to wear body cameras. How about school lunch standards? On another note.... One week after being sworn in, Sonny Perdue staged a public event at a school in Leesburg, Virginia. The Obama administration had pushed successfully to raise the nutritional requirements of school meals fed to thirty million American schoolchildren, for the first time in twenty years. To receive federal subsidies for the meals they serve, schools are now required to behave more like responsible parents than indifferent ones: more whole grains, more fruits and vegetables, less sodium, no artificially sweetened whole milk, and so on. Concannon expanded the breakfast programs for kids who did not get fed at home—and that meal, too, became more nutritious. “You can’t just serve them pancakes and hot dogs. 🤢Big companies that provided the schools with meals fought back: it was more profitable for them to serve pancakes and hot dogs than fruits and vegetables. But by the end of 2016, America’s children were eating better than they had been in 2008. “Ninety-eight percent of the schools were meeting the new standards,” says Concannon, “and to those that weren’t, that had some problem, we’d say,” We’ll work with you!’” With a wave of his hand Sonny Perdue changed all that, when he declared the Whole Grain standards as being optional. 🤑Predatory Corporate practices at the expense of our children must stop.
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    Secure the sovereignty of our nation first.
    Like (44)
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    Those who hold others accountable should be held accountable themselves. In our high tech, cell phone culture, camera footage is one of the best ways to do that. I strongly support cameras for our ICE and other enforcement officers to ensure they are answerable for their actions—good and bad.
    Like (39)
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    Yes, and those cameras should not be able to be turned off.
    Like (31)
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    Most definitely
    Like (28)
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    Absolutely! All law enforcement officials should be wearing body cameras when on duty. When you have the power not just to arrest someone, but also shoot and kill if you perceive someone else to be a threat then body cameras are a must!
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    If you’re here illegally, they’re here to kick you out and personally I don’t care how they do it because illegals aren’t paying taxes.
    Like (20)
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    Hell yes. And they should want to. All agents should have to as well as police. Including sound. We can afford it as a country. It literally protects the police and the citizen. I also think it would de escalate both sides in many cases. Not always but it would be a huge help for all.
    Like (18)
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    Yes they should. So should police. And prison guards. Shine in light and bring transparency to the most vulnerable.
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    They’ll just turn them off but yes.
    Like (16)
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    The "Against" reasoning turned my stomach.....How do you "professionally" put children in cages?
    Like (15)
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    With today’s technology everybody should be wearing a body camera or vehicles should be now mounted with them whether they are civil or government. Let’s start making people accountable for their actions.
    Like (13)
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    All law enforcement should wear body cameras. As ICE has arrested people who are both here legally (as naturalized citizens) and native born Americans, it's imperative that they be held accountable.
    Like (12)
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    They seem to be making a bunch of really bad decisions.
    Like (12)
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    Absolutely. All uniformed law enforcement should have to wear them. It would protect both the officer and the members of the public they come into contact with.
    Like (12)
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    All police officers, ICE, and others in positions of power should wear body cameras. Protection for both sides
    Like (11)
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    Yes just like with the police. It’s the only way to prove to the snowflakes what kind of crap these officers have to put up with
    Like (10)
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