Border Patrol Profiling Includes Local Law Enforcement

A new report released by the ACLU uncovers Border Patrol’s broad jurisdiction and the agency’s pattern of targeting immigrant communities in Michigan.

A new report released by the ACLU of Michigan has exposed a pattern of overreach and racial profiling within the Border Patrol agency. While the Canada border doesn’t garner as much attention as the southern border, the ACLU report indicates that Border Patrol operations for the northern border employ racial profiling to target people throughout Michigan.

Listen: Report shows Border Patrol’s history of racial profiling in Michigan. 


Monica Andrade is an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. She says the ACLU report demonstrates Border Patrol’s widespread authority throughout the state. The agency, according to Andrade, actually operates within a 100-mile radius from the Canadian border, encompassing much of Michigan. The gathered data also shows a strong merger between police and Border Patrol. “What we learned … is that our local, state and county law enforcement agencies are deeply entangled with Border Patrol,” says Andrade. Border Patrol’s broad reach has resulted in the agency operating outside of its designated purview. “One-third of people stopped were U.S. citizens, so it’s not just impacting our undocumented immigrant community,” says Andrade on Border Patrol’s presence in Michigan communities.

The ACLU report also reveals Border Patrol’s issue with racial profiling. She says the agency often pulls people over for arbitrary reasons, citing suspicious behavior. Moving forward, Andrade says it is imperative to restructure the Border Patrol and demand transparency from the notoriously opaque agency. “At the national level, we need to call on this administration to fundamentally reform the agency … And at the local level, state and local law enforcement agencies need to end their entanglement with Border Patrol,” says Andrade.

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