Democrats push Homeland Security Improvement Act

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democratic leaders are pushing for the passage of a bill they say will bring transparency and accountability to the Department of Homeland Security.

Some U.S. residents who live along the U.S.-Mexico border have a list of grievances against DHS and its agencies like ICE and CBP.

“Border patrol, ICE entering our homes, our property, wrongful searches, racial profiling,” said Fernando Garcia with Border Network for Human Rights.

That’s why dozens of border residents and activists joined Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to push for a bill they say would require more transparency and accountability.

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s version of the bill was passed by the U.S. House. The proposal would require immigration officials to include border residents in the process of crafting border policies.

“There is no one in this country who wants safe border communities, more than those of us who have the privilege to live in border communities,” Escobar said.

The Homeland Security Improvement Act would also establish a liaison for people to file complaints and would require federal border agents to wear body cameras.

New Mexico Senator Tom Udall says Congress and the American people need a better picture of what’s happening at the border.

“We are all too familiar with the reports of severe overcrowding, of lack of hot meals, showers, and toothbrushes for children,” he said.

But the bill currently has support only from Democrats and it’s unlikely to see a vote anytime soon in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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