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 GillibrandTeen girls pen open letter supporting Kavanaugh accuser: We imagine you at that party and 'see ourselves' Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — GOP again has momentum on Kavanaugh rollercoaster 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. 

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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 MerkleyOvernight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts DHS transferred about 0M from separate agencies to ICE this year: report MORE (D-Ore.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities MORE (D-N.M.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMore Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren Trump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 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 TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE last month authorized the National Guard, at the recommendation of the DHS, to aid in border security along the U.S.-Mexico border.