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Link: “The Border Patrol Has Vast, Largely Unchecked Powers That Are Expanding”

Original post found at: https://jacobin.com/2022/09/border-patrol-immigration-constitution-supreme-court/

Border Patrol has all of this sophisticated military gear and almost 20,000 agents in the field, but it has relatively little work to do when it comes to immigration. This makes it available to be deployed for other purposes.

During the protests, Donald Trump’s administration decided to use a “war on terror”–era law that says that the secretary of homeland security could assign federal officers to protect federal buildings. But the regulation is actually quite broad, because it says they can do investigations on-site and off-site for any felony cognizable under the law. This allowed the agents to police social justice protests and also grab people off the street in the middle of the night in unmarked vans in things that have nothing to do with immigration work.

The major concern then is that these laws are still on the books. And the Border Patrol is eager to do this kind of work. One of the alarms I’m trying to raise in my book is that these laws need to be fixed before a future authoritarian president comes into power and uses them even more expansively.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.