Tucked into the final budget proposal of President Obama’s administration is an effort to prevent U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents from operating withimpunity after the agency has been plagued with years of controversy.
In his 2017 fiscal year budget plan, President Obama is requesting the allocation of $5 million to support the use of body-worn cameras for agents on the southern U.S. border.
Described as a request that “could have positive effects on CBP and the public,” border officials would test out the use of camera technology during their field operations — expanding on a existing pilot program hoping to make the agency more accountable and transparent.
The proposed allocation for body cameras makes up just a small portion of the president’s $40.6 billion requested budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But it could have huge implications for immigrant advocates, who for years have argued that the CBP agency needs to be held more accountable amid allegations of corruption and a troubling rise in the use of force by agents against U.S. citizens, border crossers, and Mexican citizens.