MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to reduce the size of the zone in which border agents can question people about their immigration status.

Currently, officers of the Department of Homeland Security have broad legal authority to stop vehicles and search private land, without warrants within 100 miles of the border.

The distance, which includes sea borders, means that most of New England, and two-thirds of the population of the United States, falls into the category.

The legislation that Leahy introduced Thursday along with Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray would, among other things, reduce the “border zone” to 25 miles.

They say the legislation is needed because Trump administration policies have been subjecting law-abiding citizens to needless and intrusive searches, including checkpoints in New Hampshire and Maine.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.