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"This leaves the door open to anyone who has a vindictive state of mind or a racial motive," Figueroa said. "Anyone down there could easily be mistaken and falsely accused of something they didn't do."
Harrington said letting the public watch what is essentially a law enforcement search could be illegal.
And T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents nearly all Border Patrol agents, said the plan could further strain the overworked agency.
"At first blush, it sounds like just another crazy idea that is going to overwhelm the capabilities of the federal government to be able to respond to the number of calls coming in and to the number of reports," Bonner said. "But there is a silver lining: It might just make legislators aware."
Bonner said it won't take smugglers long to figure out where the cameras are.
Connie Hair, a spokeswoman for the Minuteman organization, which patrols the border against illegal immigrants, said access to the video should be restricted to trained volunteers and law enforcement officials, to prevent smugglers from using the equipment to adjust their routes.