ACLU, others push to curb Border Patrol operations

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A coalition of 21 civil liberties, immigrant rights and labor groups have sent a letter to Washington state's congressional delegation urging them to look at U.S. Border Patrol operations, saying that agents routinely profile immigrants and use interpretation as a pre-text to make arrests.

The letter is the latest in on-going tensions between the agency and these groups, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union among others.

In the past few years, Border Patrol has increased the number of agents in Washington by a few hundred agents and stepped up operations, such as inspections of buses and ferries. Even so, arrests of illegal immigrants have gone down since 2001 from about 2,000 to just below 700.

Border Patrol has argued it's conducting its job of enforcing the nation's immigration law.