AILA: CBP Drags its Heels on Body-Worn Cameras, Endangering Lives

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org
Belle Woods
202-507-7675
bwoods@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - Victor Nieblas Pradis, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to the announcement that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff will expand the agency's camera review with the following statement:

"I am extremely disappointed that the review of whether to use body-worn and other additional cameras has taken this long and as yet has no real resolution beyond additional testing and evaluation. It is beyond belief that, given all that we know about the power of video to shine a light on the actions of law enforcement agents and officers, CBP is still dragging its heels on this initiative. As the nation's largest law enforcement agency, CBP should lead the way toward transparency and set the standard, rather than try and keep things hidden away.

"Commissioner Kerlikowske needs to stand up and lead on this issue. The continued delay in implementation has led to loss of life and continued abuse which could have been avoided. Cameras will offer protection and safety for both officers and immigrants alike, and reduce the likelihood of harm for all parties. If body-worn cameras save just one life, then their worth has been proven. No more studies necessary.

"CBP needs to move beyond the harm and turmoil caused by excessive use of force, and the dark history of cover-ups that followed. If I were they, I would embrace this new technology as quickly as possible, and the new era it can bring."

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15111263.