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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released the following statement on the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017, a bill she introduced today that would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to wear body cameras during field operations and removal proceedings.

The bill would mandate that ICE develop procedures for training agents and deploying body cameras – including the storage of digital information obtained through the cameras – and would require ICE agents to start wearing body cameras within eighteen months.

“As Donald Trump has dramatically expanded the number of undocumented Americans who are a priority for deportation, many immigrants in Brooklyn and across the United States now fear a knock on the door in the middle of the night or checkpoints on their drive home from work. These immigrants as well as advocates are concerned about the possibility of abuse, particularly when individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have only severely limited access to attorneys and to the due process of law. We need to establish procedures that protect their rights.

“In recent years, many law enforcement agencies in the United States have required their officers to wear body cameras when conducting arrests or interacting with the community, in order to increase accountability and build the public’s trust in law enforcement officials. The early results are promising. A study cited by President Obama’s Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing found that police officers wearing body cameras were involved in 87.5 percent fewer incidents where force was used and received 59 percent fewer complaints than police officers who did not wear cameras.

“We should apply this same approach to immigration enforcement. Immigrants and their families are entitled to respect for their humanity and to the full rights guaranteed under the law. With the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017, we will secure their rights.”

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