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Crossing the Line (2019)

Border Patrol and Local Law Enforcement Practices in New York

An analysis of hundreds of pages of records obtained through public records requests that show U.S. Border Patrol coordinates with local law enforcement to detain immigrants across large swaths of New York, well beyond New York’s border with Canada.

As part of ongoing research into coordination between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement, the New York Civil Liberties Union sent public records requests to both U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and local agencies. The NYCLU analysis relies on over 200 Border Patrol stops between November 2016 and March 2017 in the five counties that constitute Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector – Clinton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence and Herkimer. It also draws from police reports between 2015 and mid-2018 that resulted in contact with federal immigration authorities in the towns and villages of Attica, Hamburg, Perry, and Johnson City, and the counties of Niagara, Ontario, and Wyoming, areas where the NYCLU had heard such coordination was occurring.


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