Post details: I-10 Checkpoint Dog & Pony Show

2010-09-27

Permalink 21:42:32, Categories: Right to Travel, Checkpoints, Immigration, 702 words   English (EU)

I-10 Checkpoint Dog & Pony Show

I recently came across an interesting discussion on flyertalk.com regarding a permanent Border Patrol checkpoint located on I-10 in West Texas. Seems that the Border Patrol was going out of its way to harass car drivers with extensive questioning and drug sniffing dogs while just waving commercial truck drivers through without any questioning whatsoever.

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that commercial trucks are physically capable of transporting quite a bit more illicit traffic than a personal car. In fact, the last time I checked several personal cars can easily fit into the space occupied by a single commercial truck.

[More:]

Why then would Border Patrol agents manning a permanent checkpoint in the Southwest United States be more interested in harassing private individuals driving personal cars than well-connected commercial truck drivers representing powerful commercial/lobbying interests? This is of course a rhetorical question.

Don't get me wrong. I don't begrudge truck drivers in this scenario at all. I just think the Border Patrol has no legitimate business questioning anyone absent individualized suspicion inside the country and scenarios like this make it obvious how much of a joke these internal checkpoint dog and pony shows really are.

Unfortunately, until a critical mass of people stop putting up with being stopped, seized, detained, interrogated and searched absent consent or probable cause while minding their own business driving down a public highway, this type of targeted abuse of the travelling public will continue.

How does that quote go again....

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

The text of the forum post prompting this blog entry appears below along with a link to the full discussion:

US Border Patrol checkpoint on I-10 in west Texas

"I chose to drive back to Dallas from my business trip in southern California so that I could visit my sister in Deming, NM (a small town on I-10 in southern New Mexico), and to see west Texas from the ground. I've flown over it many times but never driven across.

Going east on I-10 after leaving El Paso, there were signs on the highway with flashing lights letting me know of this "inspection station" where everyone has to stop. One lane was for trucks and another lane for cars. I assumed this was to prevent us in cars from having to wait in a long line behind the trucks. Most of the traffic on this desolate stretch of highway is commercial trucks.

The line for cars was about 10 long, and while there were lots more than 10 trucks in their line, I saw the Border Patrol just waving them through, one after another. Meanwhile the car line was barely moving at all.

I was started to get pretty peeved at this delay, because I didn't do anything other than minding my own business driving on the interstate. When I reached the head of the line, I could see what was taking so long... the Border Patrol was asking people in cars lots of questions while another officer with a dog walked around each car!

He asked me "are you a US citizen?" I said yes. Then he asked me where I'm going. I said "What's with all the questions? I'm not crossing an international border." He said "you're in a federal facility, ma'am" I told him I'm going to Dallas. Then he asked me where I had come from, how long I stayed there, and he asked me if I was carrying any illegal narcotics. After I answered those questions, then he said "when was the last time you smoked?" I said "Excuse me?!!" He repeated his question and I said "I am not answering any more of these questions" and then he said "have a good trip" and waved me on.

Since when does the US Border Patrol get to ask people who are minding their own business, driving on an interstate highway in Texas, all these personal questions?

I am going to send a letter to President Obama to let him know that he has no business criticizing Arizona SB 1070 when he needs to clean up his own house first. He is a hypocrite!"

Comments:

Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor]
The problem we face is not simply the citizenship question per se, as illustrated here it is all the other questions that follow in an obvious attempt to entrap the person arrested by the federal authority.

Everybody knows about Miranda. We all have the right to remain silent. That's a basic human right.

But there's another reason to remain silent. In Raffel v U.S., and in law enforcement practice, the court finds that at the very moment a suspect cooperates and answers questions and/or consents to search, the suspect gives up those rights and must continue that cooperation and consent through to that person's possible/eventual arrest, trial and judgment.

And according to a new Supreme Court finding (Berghuis, Warden v. Thompkins), suspects must say they want to be silent to avoid waiving their Miranda rights. You now need to tell them that you don’t want to tell them anything. "I choose to remain silent."

Welcome to America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

"I am going to send a letter to President Obama to let him know that he has no business criticizing Arizona SB 1070 when he needs to clean up his own house first. He is a hypocrite!"

Cool!

Permalink 2010-09-28 @ 09:27
Meanwhile- 1400 miles north- the US Border Patrol plans to expand to a 50 agent station at Port Angeles, WA.

The US Border Patrol says they will not add more agents to their 50 agent station- they'll stick with 25.

Local US Border Patrol operations appear to have been downsized in recent years (checkpoints ended on the Olympic Peninsula in 2008).

What do 25 agents do up here?

What we do not know:

How many US Border Patrol arrests have been made out of the Port Angeles Station in the past 12 months?

What percentage of US Border Patrol arrests out of the Port Angeles Station are connected in any way to the US/Canada border?

http://tinyurl.com/DontAskDontTellUSBP
Permalink 2010-09-28 @ 10:13
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor]
All these billions spent on homeland security, including steel fences and these thousands of agents have not made us safer -- we still have an elevated terror alert! (high in the air sector)

What they've done, at least at the checkpoints, is to shift away from immigrants (their statutory basis) and more to drugs -- that's where the money is. Plus a dog on (false) alert gives them authority to search. So let's hope Prop 19 passes in CA.

Permalink 2010-09-28 @ 19:40
Comment from: john [Visitor]
I went through the El Paso checkpoint on 9-26-10. Only asked one question. Are you a U.S. Citizen? Been through that checkpoint dozens of times over the last 35 years. Always the same. No problems. John
Permalink 2010-10-25 @ 16:42
Comment from: Steve S. [Visitor]
john,
I have no doubts that you are a U.S. citizen and it would appear answering Yes allows you to pass quickly.
At that point, one must wonder, what is this Checkpoint accomplishing? If everyone says Yes (even if they are lying), then the Border Patrol should let them through. The only good it will do is if someone says No, in which case they are very honest and/or very stupid. Since saying Yes and found out to be a liar has no prison penalties (only deportation), I am guessing most people say Yes.

If the person "looks" foreign or speaks with an accent, singling them out would be "profiling", which has been proven by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. If the driver has a big box of drugs or explosives in there, should the Patrol stop him? If they do, then they have exceeded the limits of their duty (catching illegal aliens). If they do not, then they still have accomplished nothing other than delaying other innocent citizens.

I do believe using profiling should be allowed as a police tool, but can not justify the margins of error and abuse of power that can come with it. The officer's judgement is too arbitrary. There are good and bad people of every race, and many of them are all American citizens.
Permalink 2010-10-27 @ 09:07
Comment from: convert dvd to ipad [Visitor] · http://www.topvideoconverter.com/ipad/dvd-to-ipad-converter.html
Recently Howard Berman, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, called a new customs enforcement operation to shut down P2P websites "innovative," and said he is exploring ways to expand it.

He was referring to the seizure of nine domain names last month which kicked off "Operation In Our Sites," an initiative spearheaded by US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). A number of questions surround the seizures.

The action was announced at a press conference held jointly by ICE head John Morton and representatives of MPAA member studios.

Although the rhetoric about "lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people" from piracy has been plentiful, specifics about what crimes were committed by most of the sites have been non-existent. Instead there has been an effort by government officials like Morton and Berman to confuse the issue by conflating unauthorized file sharing with counterfeiting, which seems to be where ICE comes in.

ICE is the agency responsible for dealing with counterfeit goods entering the US from other countries. However their only connection with copyright enforcement is as head of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which coordinates anti-piracy efforts between a number of Federal law enforcement agencies.

dvd to psp
Permalink 2011-01-01 @ 09:53

Comments are closed for this post.

Roadblock Revelations

Welcome to Checkpoint USA's blog. Here you'll find general information and discussions regarding growing threats to our right to privacy & travel.

While I refer to court cases along with state and federal law frequently in this blog, nothing written here should be construed as legal advice. I am not an attorney. Rather, I'm someone concerned about the growing disregard for individual rights present at all levels of government.

My conclusions are my own based upon personal experience and research. The law is made purposely complex however and varies significantly from place to place and circumstance to circumstance.

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