News Releases

Amends so-called “100-Mile Zone” on the border 

Bill updates previous legislation sponsored by Senator Murray to protect rights of individuals at national borders – LINK 

Senator Murray: Bill strikes balance between border security needs and “protecting the rights of families and communities who live or travel nearby our national borders”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation to establish critical privacy protections in the United States by limiting the unreasonably wide “border zone” within which Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers may – without warrants – stop vehicles and search private land for the purpose of patrolling the border. 

Currently DHS officers have broad legal authority to stop vehicles and search private land, without warrants, for the purpose of patrolling the border.  Yet the border has been defined to include a 100-mile “border zone” in which DHS officers may conduct such stops, including marine borders. This geographic area contains nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States. Under new directives from the Trump administration, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Spokane recently have boarded Greyhound buses without a warrant and inquired about the citizenship of passengers. The new legislation would reduce the “border zone” in which DHS officers can stop vehicles to search for aliens from 100 miles down to 25 miles, and would reduce the zone in which DHS officers may enter onto private property (except houses) from 25 miles down to 10 miles.  It would also prohibit DHS from stopping a vehicle at dragnet-style immigration checkpoints further than 10 miles from the border, without reasonable suspicion that an occupant is in the U.S. illegally. The bill will be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Simply living or traveling near the border is not a sufficient reason to hassle or detain people in Washington state,” said Senator Murray. “This bill would reset the balance between giving federal law enforcement the tools they need to protect the border and protecting the rights of families and communities who live or travel nearby our national borders.”

The full text of the legislation is available here.  A fact sheet on the legislation is available here.