Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Statement on ICE’s New Pilot Program Using Body Worn Cameras
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) released the following statement after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a six-month pilot program in select cities where ICE law enforcement officers will begin to wear body worn cameras for pre-planned operations:
“Increasing transparency and accountability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been a top priority for the CHC,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “After seeing multiple reports of ICE abuse and misconduct under the previous administration, CHC Members worked diligently to pass legislation and funding to create the ICE body camera pilot program. The use of body cameras will provide an accurate representation of law enforcement encounters, which will help keep ICE officers safe and help ensure the humane treatment of migrants. I look forward to reviewing the results of the pilot program and working with DHS Secretary Mayorkas to provide the additional resources needed to expand the program across the country.”
CHC Advocacy on ICE Body Cameras
In 2017, under the Trump administration, CHC Members sent a letter urging for the use body cameras for ICE and CBP agents to ensure accountability.
In 2017, the Tri-Caucus Chairs submitted an amendment to the omnibus funding bill to increase transparency, defend civil rights, and keep the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accountable to their mission that would have required CBP and ICE agents to wear body cameras.
In 2019, the House of Representatives passed the CHC endorsed H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act by Rep. Veronica Escobar, which increased DHS accountability and included provisions regarding the implementation of body-worn cameras for CBP and ICE agents and officers.
In 2020, under the leadership of Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Congress Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Congress directed ICE to develop a body camera pilot program as part in the FY21 Omnibus funding bill, which was signed into law.
Additional CHC Member Legislation Related to ICE and CBP Body Cameras:
H.R 531-ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act (Rep. Adriano Espaillat)
S. 3160-Border Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act (Sen. Ben Ray Lujan)
H.R. 7028-DHS Body-Worn Camera Act of 2018 (Rep. Filemon Vela)
H.Amdt. 311 to H.R. 3354-Redirected funding for ICE body cameras (Rep. Joaquin Castro)
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.