Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Against Border Patrol

Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Against Border Patrol

"ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) announce a settlement agreement in a lawsuit that challenged the Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants in the Olympic Peninsula. The parties filed a joint stipulation to dismiss the lawsuit because they have reached a settlement agreement which requires Border Patrol to provide training to agents in Port Angeles regarding the Fourth Amendment, provide reports documenting every vehicle stop to plaintiffs’ counsel for 18 months, and issue a statement to the ACLU and NWIRP affirming their commitment to comply with the Fourth Amendment.  Three residents of the Olympic Peninsula filed the class action challenging the U.S. Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants without legal justification.  Filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the lawsuit says that the Border Patrol’s suspicionless stops on the Peninsula violate constitutional rights, and it seeks a court injunction barring such unlawful stops in the future.  The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the ACLU of Washington represent the residents.  The plaintiffs have experienced unwarranted stops and interrogations in a variety of settings, all while going about their daily lives.  Agents provided flimsy pretexts or no reason at all for the stops.  Some stops appear to be based on nothing but the Border Patrol agents’ perception of the plaintiffs’ ethnicity or the color of their skin.  The incidents are typical of troubling encounters which many residents of the Peninsula have had with Border Patrol agents." - ACLU, Sept. 24, 2013.