Yesterday, Harlem Congressman Adriano Espaillat issued the following statement in support of his legislation to require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to wear body cameras when 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,” said Rep. Espaillat.
“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.”
The ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to wear body cameras when on duty and the legislation will require the cameras to be turned on when the ICE officer or CBP agent begins their shift. Footage would also be made available during any administrative proceeding, civil action, or criminal prosecution.
On Friday, March 17, Congressman Espaillat addressed support of his bill with Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly during the meeting with House Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Sec. Kelly stated that he would be open to the idea should funding for the body cameras be made available through the department.
“DHS has a budget of approximately $40.96 billion in net discretionary authority, not including the 6.8 percent increase in President Trump’s “skinny budget” – I believe the funding is already there,” added Rep. Espaillat.
Click here to read the Ice and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act in its entirety.
Ckeck out more articles Harlem Congressman Adriano Espaillat HERE.