Justice Derailed: What Raids on New York Trains and Buses Reveal about Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Practices

Justice Derailed: What Raids on New York Trains and Buses Reveal about Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Practices

"The U.S. Border Patrol is using aggressive policing tactics far from the border in upstate New York to increase arrest rates with little regard to New Yorkers’ constitutional rights and freedoms, according to a report released today by the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Families for Freedom.  The report, Justice Derailed: What Raids on New York Trains and Buses Reveal about Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Practices, is the first ever, in-depth analysis of the Border Patrol’s interior enforcement operations, including raids on domestic trains and buses, in upstate New York. It provides unprecedented insight into the agency’s aggressive enforcement practices miles from the border with Canada or any point-of-entry in to the country. ... Throughout central and western New York in recent years, armed Border Patrol agents have routinely boarded trains and buses nowhere near the border to question passengers about their citizenship. Passengers who cannot produce sufficient documentation are subjected to potential arrest, detention and deportation.  Through a Freedom of Information Act request, which is still being litigated, the report’s authors obtained a complete dataset of all transportation arrests in the Border Patrol’s Rochester Station from 2006 to 2009 and detailed information on a random sample of 200 of those arrests.  The analysis shows that the Border Patrol is abusing its authority through an unprecedented reach into the country’s interior and the use of aggressive search and seizure procedures that do not comport with standards and expectations for domestic policing or interior immigration enforcement. It maintains that the transportation raids are likely the result of the use of arrest rates as a performance measure. The findings show that the Border Patrol’s aggressive tactics go far beyond its mandate to protect the border." - NYCLU, Nov. 9, 2011.