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senate Bill S. 2151

Should ICE & CBP Officers Be Prohibited From Wearing Clothing With the Word 'Police'?

Argument in favor

Federal immigration officers aren’t police, so shouldn’t be allowed to identify themselves as such on their gear. This is especially important now in light of cases of ICE officers using the ruse of being police officers to gain entry to suspected unauthorized immigrants’ homes and subsequently arresting people who otherwise wouldn’t have let them in.

JimFossler's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Yes, ICE and Immigration should not be allowed to use Police on their uniforms. It is deceptive and they do not have the power of police, even though they try to make immigrants who do not know our laws think they have that ultimate power.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/16/2019
Yes, they are not ‘police’ and have apparently used the ‘police’ label to illegally impersonate police by so stating to enable improper, uninvited entry; to shotgun interrogate residents without any ‘probable cause’. This is illegal and is an improper use of their authority. They abused the ‘title’ on their uniform and must at least be held accountable for that. Remove the title.
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Kathi13's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Their assumed authority is false and anything legitimizing it needs to be removed.
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Argument opposed

ICE and CBP officers use “police” as a universal language for identifying themselves as law enforcement. This helps prevent confusion as to who they are, which is good for both the officers and the people they’re attempting to apprehend.

Elijah's Opinion
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09/16/2019
I swear these bills get stupider and stupider by the day. Their job is to enforce immigration law. They are technically police.
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Libertarian's Opinion
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09/15/2019
They are law enforcement. And yes, I am an immigrant.
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Raymond 's Opinion
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09/15/2019
All of you ideological liberals and Hate filled Leftists need to know. Ice and CBP are SWORN OFFICERS OF THE USA. You Idiots. Get some real knowledge before you start spouting off your Lunacy!!! This is STUPID. YOU PARTISAN HACK OF A POLITICIAN. How dare you politicize this!!! You are a disgusting human being. Cory Booker. What have you accomplished in your entire life???
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 17th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2151?

This bill — the Combating Deceptive Immigration Enforcement Practices Act of 2019 — would prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) from wearing clothing displaying the word “police.”

Impact

Unauthorized immigrants; ICE; CBP; ICE officers; CBP agents; ICE officers’ gear; CBP agents’ gear; and federal immigration officers’ misidentification of themselves as police.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2151

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, introduced this bill to prohibit ICE and CBP officers from wearing clothing displaying the word “police”

“This administration continues to ruthlessly and cruelly inflict fear and panic on immigrant communities across this country. When ICE agents display the word “police” on their uniforms, they blur the line between local law enforcement and immigration agents and confuse immigrant communities. These misleading interactions erode trust between local law enforcement and the communities they’re supposed to protect, and make it less likely that immigrants will report a crime because they fear deportation. Local law enforcement officers are here to protect and serve, not arrest and deport. It’s important we make that distinction clear.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), who first introduced this bill in the House, says it’s needed to ensure federal immigration officials can’t misidentify as police

“When federal immigration officials misidentify as police, it creates distrust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. This, in turn, means real crimes go unreported and witnesses are less likely to step forward, making all of us less safe. The legislation we’ve authored will prevent ICE and CBP from misleading immigrants into thinking they are local police officers and I’m pleased Senator Booker has joined me in this effort.” 

The New Jersey Urban Association supports this bill. Its president, Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, says

“Local officials and municipal leaders have worked diligently to strengthen community relationships with police. When ICE officers’ uniforms mimic police it negatively affects this work. We need to ensure that our residents can determine the difference between ICE officers and police, therefore changing their uniforms is absolutely necessary.”

Therese R. Rodriguez, CEO of Apicha Community Health Centers, adds that blurring the line between ICE officers and police hurts the broader community

“The potential lack of distinction between ICE agents and the local police force creates confusion and distrust of local police not only among immigrants, but among our neighbors, the churches, and our schools. This fear and fracture in trust spills into every public institution—an effect that runs contrary to New York’s status as a sanctuary state. At Apicha Community Health Center, we see the result. We aim to provide all New Yorkers a safe space where they can get the health services they need. Currently, there are people who need our services who might be afraid to walk through our doors. We believe creating a clear distinction between local police and ICE agents will improve safety, trust, and unity.”

ICE-ERO says that ICE agents and officers may initially identify themselves as “police” during an encounter because that is the universally-recognized term for law enforcement. ICE-ERO says

“In the often dangerous law enforcement arena, being able to immediately identify yourself as law enforcement may be a life-or-death issue. However, ICE-issued uniforms and jackets also display ‘ICE’ to indicate the specific law enforcement agency being represented.”

In 2017, ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez also contended that it’s accurate to call ICE officers police because “It's clear that we are a law enforcement agency. We have police authority."

ICE officers’ training manuals and policy notices explicitly allow and encourage agents’ use of ruses, including declaring themselves as police. In 2017, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice declined to comment specifically on the use of ruses, but said that agents’ tactics “are consistent with their authorities under federal law and in accordance with the Constitution.”

The courts have long upheld police’s right to mislead suspects during investigations and interrogations, up to a point. However, legal questions around immigration agents’ use of ruses are more complicated. Because ICE agents generally don’t have search or arrest warrants when they try to detain someone on suspicion of being in the U.S. illegally, they can’t force their way into someone’s home and have to receive consent from an adult to enter. In a few cases in which ICE agents have used deception to gain entry and then arrested someone, lawyers have successfully argued that the ruses violated the Constitution’s protections.

Nancy Morawetz, a professor of clinical law and an immigration expert at NYU School of Law, says that although existing case law allows federal law enforcement agents to use ruses, she doesn’t believe it’s clearly legal for a federal officer to masquerade as a local one. She explains, “What ICE is doing is saying ‘Oh, it’s all the same question. If law enforcement can use ruses, then any ruse is an option.” However, she takes a different view: “There is a pretty strong argument, I think, that it is impersonating a police officer” — a felony charge in the state of New York. 

However, in an implicit rebuke of this legislation, which addresses this issue at the federal level, Moraetz believes that state and local governments and agencies are best-positioned to push back on ICE’s misrepresentation of officers. She says, “I think if local law enforcement protested to [the Department of Homeland Security], they would get results.”

This legislation doesn’t have any Senate cosponsors but has the support of a number of immigration advocacy groups. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), has 22 Democratic House cosponsors. Neither bill has received a committee vote.

In the 115th Congress, this legislation had 23 Democratic House cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. There was no Senate version of this bill last Congress.


Of NoteIn 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill, AB 1440, into law prohibiting ICE agents and CBP officers from identifying themselves as police. When Gov. Brown signed the bill, its author, California Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), said

“I am pleased that Gov. Brown has signed [this bill] into law, upholding the trust and faith our local law enforcement work to develop with local communities every day to provide for the public’s safety. Under the [Trump] administration, ICE and CBP are undertaking unprecedented and aggressive tactics to identify, monitor, and detain undocumented immigrants for deportation. This [law] sends a clear message – that in California, law enforcement officers are sworn to protect all residents, regardless of their immigration status… [A]s California and the rest of the nation enter into a new reality of aggressive and, at times, deceitful actions undertaken to enforce immigration actionsCalifornia must take any and all necessary actions to disassociate the actions of federal ICE agents with those of licensed state and local peace officers.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights supported AB 1440. Its policy advocate, Christopher Sanchez, said, “To have ICE deceive our communities that they are police officers only creates greater mistrust between law enforcement and the immigrant community.”

According to the California Assembly when it considered AB 1440, ICE agents have claimed to be police officers in order to gain consent to enter people’s homes — a tactic that’s viewed as unethical, but within officers' powers. In 2017 the Los Angeles Times reported that iImmigrant rights attorneys and advocates argue that portraying themselves as police is a ruse ICE agents use to “ensnare people or fool them into revealing the whereabouts of family members.” 

In 2017, Frances Miriam Kreimer, senior attorney at Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco, said, “There is something fundamentally unfair about ICE exploiting local and state policies that are trying to improve public safety by promoting immigrants’ trust in law enforcement.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Flickr)

AKA

Combating Deceptive Immigration Enforcement Practices Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to amend section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit immigration officers and agents of the Department of Homeland Security from wearing clothing or other items bearing the word "police".

    Yes, ICE and Immigration should not be allowed to use Police on their uniforms. It is deceptive and they do not have the power of police, even though they try to make immigrants who do not know our laws think they have that ultimate power.
    Like (120)
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    I swear these bills get stupider and stupider by the day. Their job is to enforce immigration law. They are technically police.
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, they are not ‘police’ and have apparently used the ‘police’ label to illegally impersonate police by so stating to enable improper, uninvited entry; to shotgun interrogate residents without any ‘probable cause’. This is illegal and is an improper use of their authority. They abused the ‘title’ on their uniform and must at least be held accountable for that. Remove the title.
    Like (105)
    Follow
    Share
    Their assumed authority is false and anything legitimizing it needs to be removed.
    Like (66)
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    They are law enforcement. And yes, I am an immigrant.
    Like (49)
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    The use of “POLICE” is easily misused, especially in non-police actions. It simply should not be allowed.
    Like (42)
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    They are not police. They don’t have the powers of police or the appropriate training of police. The only federal level enforcement that have that kind of position are the US Marshals. US Marshals can wear uniforms that say police, but ICE ARE NOT POLICE!
    Like (37)
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    YUP! THOSE SS TROOPERS AIN’T POLICE!!!
    Like (36)
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    Yes. I’m trying to be helpful but if I wear a police uniform I’m breaking the law. So, anyone that’s not police and they are wearing a uniform with police on it is breaking the law by impersonating a police officer. Whether they are trying to be helpful or not it gives the wrong information to those dealing with them.
    Like (36)
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    Cory Booker is an idiot.
    Like (35)
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    All of you ideological liberals and Hate filled Leftists need to know. Ice and CBP are SWORN OFFICERS OF THE USA. You Idiots. Get some real knowledge before you start spouting off your Lunacy!!! This is STUPID. YOU PARTISAN HACK OF A POLITICIAN. How dare you politicize this!!! You are a disgusting human being. Cory Booker. What have you accomplished in your entire life???
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    Federal immigration officers aren’t police, so shouldn’t be allowed to identify themselves as such on their gear. This is especially important now in light of cases of ICE officers using the ruse of being police officers to gain entry to suspected unauthorized immigrants’ homes and subsequently arresting people, often wrongfully.
    Like (29)
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    It is intentionally misleading to put "police" on the uniforms if ICE operatives.
    Like (28)
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    They are most certainly not police and should not wear clothing or anything else identifying them as such. Please rid us of this Trump and his gestapo.
    Like (25)
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    Yes, they are law enforcement, HOWEVER, they are not ordinary police officers. It is deceptive and is used to gain entry to homes of immigrants who live there. For example, TSA is law enforcement because they enforce the law, but they are not police officers partaking in normal cop duties.
    Like (22)
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    Maybe Intimidation Squad or Industrialized Military would be a better title. It is bad enough our police departments have gone into robo cop territory we don’t need ICE thugs called “police” too.
    Like (20)
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    Their uniforms should say Customs & Border Patrol, or Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
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    If Congress is going to get into the weeds of the meaning of words, then I suggest they research what a republic form of government is.
    Like (18)
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    An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. Invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. Has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. Took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. Privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. Pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. Took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. Pushing to host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    They are officers of law. No problem. More helpful!!
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