ICE Agents in 5 Major Cities Begin Wearing Body Cameras

On Wednesday, it was announced that agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon begin wearing body cameras in at least 5 major cities.

As Fox News reports, Acting Director of ICE Patrick Lechleitner confirmed that 1,600 body cameras will be distributed to agents operating in the cities of: Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C.

“This is also an important step to further build public trust and confidence in our dedicated and professional law enforcement officials,” said Lechleitner.

The initiative is part of a broader effort by the Biden Administration to crack down on law enforcement and expose them to more scrutiny through such readily-available body camera footage, in what advocates have claimed will increase transparency.

Cameras will be applied to agents and officers in both of ICE’s law enforcement branches: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, who investigate transnational crimes, and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), who arrest and deport illegal aliens. The agency had already carried out a pilot program over the course of six months, distributing cameras to HSI agents in the cities of El Paso and Houston in Texas, New York City, and Newark, New Jersey, as well as to ERO officers in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City.

Back in January, ICE explained its plan for rolling out the use of body cameras for its agents, clarifying that they would be used primarily in the cases of executing arrest warrants, executing removal orders, or responding to violence at ICE facilities. The cameras will reportedly not be used to record people engaging in protest or other activities protected by the First Amendment.

Lechleitner also said that the agency would need more funding from Congress in order to expand the body camera program beyond those five cities, saying that “right now, we can’t do more than those cities.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES - JANUARY 5: An exterior view of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Building in Washington D.C., United States on January 5, 2023. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)