APNewsBreak: Border Patrol to stop interpreting
In 2007, the northern border had about 1,100 agents. Now it has more than 2,200. In the same period, the number of agents in the Blaine sector, which covers the border west of the Cascades, went from 133 to 331.
Along with providing language services, Border Patrol agents often assist local law agencies that are short on personnel and equipment. In addition, highway checkpoints have been implemented. On the southern U.S. border, the ability to speak Spanish is prevalent among local law enforcement agencies.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project filed a lawsuit earlier this year seeking to bar Border Patrol agents from doing traffic stops on the Olympic Peninsula, claiming people were being pulled over and questioned over the way they look and without reasonable suspicion. The lawsuit is pending.
The Border Patrol has denied any discrimination.
Representatives of the National Border Patrol Council did not immediately return a message Thursday seeking comment. It previously argued that federal officials are buckling to political pressure from advocacy groups.
In May, union vice president Shawn Moran said traffic stops are a basic tool for agents trying to catch terrorists, illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.
Manuel Valdes can be reached at http://twitter.com/ByManuelValdes
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