Gillibrand pushes to require record-keeping by immigration agents

Gillibrand pushes to require record-keeping by immigration agents
© Greg Nash

Democratic Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy Actress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding MORE (N.Y.) announced Friday new legislation aimed at holding border patrol and customs enforcement agents accountable for questioning the immigration status of train and bus passengers. 

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), would mandate that officers with Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement formally maintain records of each time they question a passenger. 

“Keeping our country safe cannot come at a cost to basic human rights. When border patrol agents stop and question people in New York and in many places across the country, they aren’t keeping data about why they targeted a particular person or what happened during their encounter,” Gillibrand said in a statement Friday. 


DATA would also require border and immigration agents to log detailed information on patrol stops made outside of international security checkpoints, as Gillibrand cited the agencies' broad authority to check vehicles within the vast 100-mile U.S. border zones.

The DHS would then have to log the information, including the reason for the stop and whether force was used, in a database accessible to the public. 

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' GOP lawmaker compares cages for migrant children to chain-link fences on playgrounds Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Ore.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release Senate committee targets Pruitt scandals in spending bill Overnight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets MORE (D-N.M.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFederal court rules consumer bureau structure unconstitutional Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix MORE (D-Mass.), has drawn the support of liberal civil rights and immigration advocacy groups such as the ACLU and the Southern Border Coalition at a time when the Trump administration is taking an aggressive approach to immigration enforcement.

Social media has been flooded in recent months with videos and stories of random checks where travelers are quizzed about their immigration status.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE last month authorized the National Guard, at the recommendation of the DHS, to aid in border security along the U.S.-Mexico border.