Eighteen Democratic representatives have reportedly co-sponsored a bill from Brooklyn congresswoman Yvette Clarke which would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to wear body camera during arrests and detentions of undocumented immigrants.
Dubbed the "ICE Body Camera Act of 2017," H.R. 1497 was introduced last week. It would mandate ICE officials "wear body cameras when engaged in field operations and removal proceedings" beginning 18 months from now. It would also require the agency to develop procedures regarding training for officers outfitted with the camera, and policies around where and how footage obtained by the camera would be stored, Clarke explained on her Facebook page. ICE would need to make the footage available to those who facing deportation, for use in immigration court.
"As Donald Trump has dramatically expanded the number of undocumented Americans who are a priority for deportation, many immigrants in Brooklyn and across the United States now fear a knock on the door in the middle of the night,” Clarke said. “These immigrants as well as advocates are concerned about the possibility of abuse."
While the overall efficacy of body cameras in improving municipal police work remains in question, Clarke reportedly pointed to results from the Obama administration's Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing, which cited a study concluding that officers with body cameras logged "87.5 percent fewer incidents of use of force and 59 percent fewer complaints than the officers not wearing the cameras."
"Immigrants and their families are entitled to respect for their humanity and to the full rights guaranteed under the law," Clarke said in her statement. "With the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017, we will secure their rights."
It is, of course, highly unlikely the Republican-controlled Congress will pass Clarke's bill.