Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

USDA Rules Against Forest Service Use of Border Patrol Backup


"The practice of Forest Service officers’ requesting language interpretation and security backup from Border Patrol agents during stops of Spanish-speaking people is discriminatory, according to a federal administrative ruling made public this week. The ruling, by Joe Leonard Jr., the assistant secretary for civil rights of the Department of Agriculture, said requesting interpretation assistance was “merely an excuse to target Latino individuals for immigration enforcement.” The ruling came in response to a claim by the companion of a Mexican man who drowned in a river on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington last year after a Border Patrol officer, summoned by a Forest Service officer, chased the man into the woods. The couple had been stopped on national forestland while picking salal, an evergreen shrub used in floral arrangements. The ruling included disciplinary actions against some employees, and