Border Patrol Must Release More Info | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Thursday, November 30, 2023 | Back issues
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Border Patrol Must Release More Info

MANHATTAN (CN) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection must release arrest statistics and other details to a nonprofit that's investigating racial profiling in a recently shelved program to patrol intercity buses and trains on the Canadian border, a federal judge ruled.

According to the ruling, the newly disclosed information reveals that Border Patrol sorted out Amtrak arrests into the categories "Mexican," "Other Than Mexican" or "Alien from a Special Interest Country."

In May, Families for Freedom and three Does sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. They claimed, "Border Patrol officers improperly engage in interior enforcement of immigration laws by questioning bus and train travelers about their immigration status on inter-city conveyances that never cross the border."

Judge Scheindlin in June ordered authorities to release more than 700 documents; the Border Patrol allegedly shelved the program months later, in the face of mounting criticism.

The Associated Press reported on Oct. 29, 2011: "The U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped its controversial practice of routinely searching buses, trains and airports for illegal immigrants at transportation hubs along the northern border and in the U.S. interior," according to the Opinion and Order.

Families for Freedom now wants Border Patrol to expose information redacted in the document dump, including arrest statistics, staffing information, official terminology about transportation hubs, a Department of Justice memo, and details of a meeting between Amtrak and the Border Patrol.

Scheindlin last week granted several of the plaintiffs' requests to expose the protected information, from 2008 and 2009, including the names and titles of high-level officials - such as the chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, and division chief - that appear in the emails.

Those names have not yet been revealed.

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