Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border

Senate Republicans dropped a massive immigration bill just before leaving for summer recess. A copy of the nearly 200-page Building America’s Trust Act, as it’s known for short, was provided to Foreign Policy. If passed, the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would expand surveillance powers at the border by increasing the number of Customs and Border Patrol agents, encouraging American law enforcement to collect and store more biometric data, and creating a plan to install drones along the border.

“We are going to have some legislation that provides a plan that deals not just with individual pieces of infrastructure but a border-wide plan that involves a lot of work from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol,” Cornyn told the Washington Examiner last week.

For proponents of increased security at the border, the bill will be a welcome measure, while privacy and civil liberties advocates are likely to object to a majority of its provisions. It will also probably face an uphill battle on Capitol Hill.

Some of the provisions included would increase the powers of border agents and airport security employees. For example, the bill would encourage Customs and Border Control to implement a system to use facial recognition technology “to the greatest extent practicable … inspect travelers at United States airports of entry.”

Within two years, the 15 most internationally trafficked airports, seaports, and land ports would be required to develop a “biometric exit data system” to “match biometric information for an alien who is departing the United States against the biometric information obtained for the alien upon entry to the United States.”

Comments

Privacy Policy

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

Immigration Bill Would Ramp Up Mass Surveillance at the Border respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.