Leahy bill would cut border patrol ‘zones’ from 100 miles to 25 miles

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US Canada border sign88003187-159532

HEMMINGFORD, QUEBEC – FEBRUARY 22: Signage warns visitors that entry across the U.S.-Canada border at this point is prohibited, February 22, 2017 in Hemmingford, Quebec. In the past month, hundreds of people have crossed Quebec land border crossings in attempts to seek asylum and claim refugee status in Canada. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

 Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to reduce the size of the zone in which border agents can question people about their immigration status.

Currently, officers of the Department of Homeland Security have broad legal authority to stop vehicles and search private land, without warrants within 100 miles of the border.

The distance, which includes sea borders, means that most of New England, and two-thirds of the population of the United States, falls into the category.

The legislation that Leahy introduced Thursday along with Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray would, among other things, reduce the “border zone” to 25 miles.

They say the legislation is needed because Trump administration policies have been subjecting law-abiding citizens to needless and intrusive searches, including checkpoints in New Hampshire and Maine.

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