MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — 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.

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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.

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Border Patrol agents at a temporary checkpoint on I-93 in New
Hampshire in June. (Photo credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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.

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