Post details: Primary Purpose of DHS Checkpoints Revealed

2011-03-01

Permalink 22:03:37, Categories: Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, Immigration, 1016 words   English (EU)

Primary Purpose of DHS Checkpoints Revealed

[Alternative Title: Quality of Border Patrol New Hires Reaches New Lows]

While traveling back from a remote worksite on the afternoon of Thursday January 20, 2011 along SR86 in Southern Arizona, I had an experience at the Homeland Security checkpoint located near mile marker 147 that pretty much summed up many of my encounters at this internal suspicionless checkpoint over the past few years.

[More:]

As I was coming to a stop at the checkpoint, the resident K-9 handler recognized me and yelled out the following warning to his fellow agents:

"It's that guy, guys"

Having been duly warned, the Border Patrol agent who appeared to be in training at the primary stop location asked in response:

"What do we usually do? Just f_ck with him?"

Although I couldn't quite make out what was said, one of the other agents ran up to the back of my vehicle and told the agent at primary to essentially wave me through. The agent at primary turned his attention back to me and with a dismissive gesture stated:

"All right...get out! Go ahead!"

As I started pulling away from the checkpoint without saying a word, I heard a thump towards the rear of my vehicle. As I looked back to see what had happened, I saw the agent who had just dismissed me smiling at his fellow agents while pulling his hand away from the place he had just struck.

As I continued to pull away, it occurred to me that the reactions of the agent at primary were probably the most honest ones I had encountered during my compelled interactions at these checkpoints over the past three years. He most likely understood that given their abysmally low interdiction rate, the checkpoint wasn't really there to interdict illegal immigrants which is its only lawful function. And it wasn't really there to interdict illegal drugs or stop other criminal activity either (assuming it's all right to engage in illegal enforcement operations to stop non-government sanctioned illegal activity to begin with).

What the agent at primary understood and re-iterated for the world to hear was that the primary purpose of internal homeland security checkpoints is to f_ck with people to make them compliant to arbitrary interference in their daily lives. Arbitrary interference in the form of arbitrary orders from government agents wearing shiny badges on their chests and sporting nifty compliance weapons on their hips or their shoulders. In other words, the primary purpose of internal homeland security checkpoints is to engage in general public obedience training much like pet owners will train their dogs.

With this understanding, it's easier to understand how agents like the one at primary in this video ever make it far enough in the Border Patrol hiring process to be standing in the middle of a public highway representing the best the Border Patrol has to offer to the people the agency claims to be serving. It also makes it easier to understand the quotes from a former Border Patrol agent appearing below:

"We have lowered our standards to an all-time low to fill positions."

"Think we won't hire you? Think again."

"We have recently hired known criminals, drug smugglers, gang bangers, people out of drug rehab, pizza delivery guys (from a national chain), people who write on a fifth-grade level, and, yes, even illegal aliens."

- (former) Border Patrol Agent Joseph Dessaro

When I first came across these quotes several years ago, I thought they were merely an exaggeration regarding Border Patrol hiring practices. Given that the quotes originated from a well-regarded Border Patrol agent who also served as the President of the San Diego Sector Local 1613 Border Patrol Union forced me to re-evaluate however.

When these quotes were initially made in 1998, they represented a time in which the Border Patrol had doubled in size from ~4,000 agents to ~8,000 in a four year period. Today, there are approximately 20,000 agents in the Border Patrol while the hiring practices condemned by Agent Dessaro more than a decade earlier are very much alive and well.

Agent Dessaro stayed in the service for several years after condemning evolving Border Patrol hiring practices. He finally resigned in disgust in 2005 however, two years after the Border Patrol was moved from legacy INS to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A quote from his resignation letter summed up his reasons well:

"On the Border Patrol; during my tenure with this agency, I watched the Border Patrol mature into something it should not be: one of the most inefficient and misleading agencies in the history of government. The merger into the Department of Homeland Security only exasperated previously existing problems under the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service. Subsequently, I believe this agency, as a government organization and employer, is beyond redemption"

- (former) Border Patrol Agent Joseph Dessaro

Quite a strong condemnation of the U.S. Border Patrol by Agent Dessaro. Unfortunately, given what we know about the agency years later, it would appear he was right on in his analysis.

The first comprehensive news articles I came across on the subject appeared in the Tucson Citizen in 2002. The three articles that initially caught my attention included the following:

Since 2002, things have only gotten worse as the agency continues to hire unqualified and unscrupulous individuals to fill open slots. The results have been disastrous with a constant flow of news articles highlighting Border Patrol agent malfeasance and report after report from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's Office detailing ever-increasing corruption throughout DHS generally and within the Border Patrol specifically.

So what does all this have to do with the video appearing above? It provides background information needed to understand how it is that some random individual is in a position to (legally?) seize people inside the country absent suspicion under threat of lethal force along a public highway for the primary purpose of f_cking with them and messing with their private property. All with the full support of the Department of Homeland Security.

Welcome to Checkpoint USA.

Comments:

Comment from: Max [Visitor]
I noticed a couple of things:

1. They ran the drug dog around the white pick-up right behind you;

2. Next time, I'd be tempted to pull off and use one of their porty-johns!
Permalink 2011-03-07 @ 05:26
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
What is your name, I need to know for a research paper about DHS. OR I cant site my sources correctly.
Permalink 2011-03-10 @ 16:05
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor]
Ha
Permalink 2011-03-10 @ 20:17
Comment from: The Road Guy [Visitor]
Funny how people interpret things. 1) I noticed the comment, "It's that guy" - which indicates you've been there before and they know you're a pain in the butt. 2) The officer did not HIT your vehcile, he tapped it as an indication that you could go ahead, 3) do you object to drug dogs at airports? It's curious how people whine and cry about the BP not securing the border and here you are whining when they do - on a highway across one of the most trafficked by illegals in the state.
Permalink 2011-03-22 @ 11:00
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
It is indeed funny how people interpret things 'The Road Guy'. Take for instance your enumerated criticism of my article.

No where in your response did you make any reference to the fact that an armed Border Patrol agent who had seized me absent suspicion at an internal immigration checkpoint no where near the border he's paid to patrol, wanted to know from his similarly armed buddies whether or not to fuck with me at primary. I can only assume from your response that you think this is perfectly acceptable behaviour from armed federal agents forcing themselves upon the public along public highways inside the country.

With regards to your first enumerated comment, of course I've been there before. Read through the past three years of blog entries to find out how often & who has really been the pain in the butt.

Regarding enumerated point #2, of course he hit my vehicle. I wouldn't have heard it or looked back if he merely tapped it. Besides, I was already moving at the time he struck my vehicle and he had no business laying a finger on my personal property regardless of whether or not it was a hit or a tap.

Finally, regarding your last point, of course I object to the random use of drug dogs at airports. I had no idea they were in common use in such a capacity as your comment would imply. Sounds like yet another reason to assist the airlines into bankruptcy by using alternative means of travel.

BTW, where in any of my many internet postings have I ever whined or cried about the BP not securing the border? What's that? Can't find any? Well then try to keep your comments pertinent to whom you're addressing. Besides, you really aren't under the impression that Border Patrol agents stopping, seizing, detaining, interrogating & searching domestic traffic absent suspicion no where near the border they're paid to patrol has anything to do with border security are you?
Permalink 2011-03-22 @ 20:06
Comment from: The Road Guy [Visitor]
All right, I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you, but it is more than obvious you're just another whiners who objects to being bothered - even for 30 seconds. For people who visit this site and don't know any better I'll point out something you failed to mention. AZ86 crosses the Tohono O'odham reservation that straddles the U.S./Mexican border and is one of the major crossing areas for both illegals and drug smugglers who work their way to AZ86 to be picked up. Granted the BP officer was really stupid in making the comment about fucking with you, but I have a feeling from your attitude that if it were me, I'd fuck with you as well, just to piss you off. And I really enjoyed your comment about, "... an armed Border Patrol agent who had seized me ..." Seized me? Now that is funny! As to the guy "hitting" your vehicle, watching the video makes it rather plain that it was a "go ahead" kind of tap or slap - no sane individual would consider what he did as HITTING your vehicle. And it is more than obvious that you do not fly very often, if at all. Drug dogs have been in use at every major airport around the world for over two decades now. As to AZ86 being "no where near the border" for those of us who live in the real world AZ86 is, at various points, within 20 miles of the border. Heck I commute further than that on a daily basis. And I have no problem stopping - or actually pausing - at these checkpoints that are in place to protect our nation. It's as simple as that. You seriously need to consider things that are a real threat to our nation and not some minor inconvenience to YOU of having to pause at a checkpoint.
Permalink 2011-03-23 @ 07:39
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
"All right, I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you, but it is more than obvious you're just another whiners who objects to being bothered - even for 30 seconds."

The only whiner here "The Road Guy" is you whining about individuals peacefully exercising their rights and pointing out the egregious actions of armed federal agents interacting with the public.

"For people who visit this site and don't know any better I'll point out something you failed to mention. AZ86 crosses the Tohono O'odham reservation that straddles the U.S./Mexican border and is one of the major crossing areas for both illegals and drug smugglers who work their way to AZ86 to be picked up."

Whether or not SR86 crosses the Tohono O'odham reservation is irrelevant. What isn't irrelevant is the fact that SR86 never intersects the border at any point. It is an East-West highway that is more than 40 miles from the border at the location of the checkpoint in question. If the Border Patrol was doing its job patrolling the border in between ports of entry, the vast majority of illegal border crossers would never make it to SR86. There are after all nearly 4,000 agents in the Tucson sector and only 260 miles of border to patrol.

"Granted the BP officer was really stupid in making the comment about fucking with you, but I have a feeling from your attitude that if it were me, I'd fuck with you as well, just to piss you off."

Thank you for pointing out the fact that authoritarian punks like you have no problem with using suspicionless seizures at internal immigration checkpoints as a pretext to fuck with people you don't like.

"And I really enjoyed your comment about, "... an armed Border Patrol agent who had seized me ..." Seized me? Now that is funny!"

I'm glad you find the comment funny 'The Road Guy' because the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't:

"It is agreed that checkpoint stops are 'seizures' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment." - U.S. v Martinez-Fuerte

My guess from your arrogant statement is that you had no idea that a checkpoint stop represents a 4th amendment seizure. Now you know better. See that? Even you can learn something new everyday.

"And I have no problem stopping - or actually pausing - at these checkpoints that are in place to protect our nation. It's as simple as that. You seriously need to consider things that are a real threat to our nation and not some minor inconvenience to YOU of having to pause at a checkpoint."

I'm happy for you that you see nothing wrong with being stopped, seized, detained, interrogated & searched absent suspicion by armed Border Patrol agents who aren't actually patrolling the border 'The Road Guy' but for those of us who live in the real world, we understand that such arbitrary unchecked government power leads to all sorts of abuses above and beyond the actual suspicionelss stopping, seizing. detaining, interrogating & searching. Abuses that dwarf the alleged problems the checkpoints were setup to address in the first place.

Additionally, your fear mongering over 'real threats' to the nation is grossly misplaced. If these checkpoints really exist to stop 'real threats' to the nation then why do official ports of entry purposefully turn a blind eye to over 70% of major illegal traffic that passes through them on a daily basis?
Permalink 2011-03-23 @ 10:20
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor]
Protecting our nation.
The US Border Patrol did a random search on a Canadian woman's car as she crossed the border into Minnesota, and told her she had illegal contraband in her car in the form of a Kinder Surprise Egg. I'd never heard of this before, but apparently it's a confection with a chocolate shell and a toy inside.

After leaving the chocolate egg and toy to the US border patrol agents, and figuring it was just a nuisance, the woman was somewhat surprised to receive a letter a week later, asking her if she was planning to come back to retrieve the egg. They noted if she did not, and she wanted to fight the seizure of the egg, she would need to pay the US government $250 in "storage costs" for the egg.
http://tinyurl.com/6c55fnu
Permalink 2011-03-23 @ 17:04
Comment from: The Road Guy [Visitor]
It's always fun to watch you fools spew your nonsense. And obviously you did no reasearch on why the egg was confiscated. Let's take a look: "The children’s candy has been banned in the United States because officials worry small children could choke on the small toy inside of it. The U.S. takes the domestic ban on the chocolate treat very seriously. CBC reports that U.S. border officials have seized more than 25,000 Kinder eggs in 2,000 separate seizures. Mike Milne, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the ban is supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 'They have been determined to present … a choking hazard to young children,' he said.
But in your myopic world a kid choking on a toy is no big deal. Do you feel kinda foolish, yet? Of course not - you're all for little kids choking as long as it supports your warped agenda.
Permalink 2011-03-27 @ 12:17
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
"It's always fun to watch you fools spew your nonsense."

Not nearly as much fun as listening to paternalistic authoritarian punks like you trying to justify an ever-expanding police state into every facet of our daily lives.

"And obviously you did no reasearch on why the egg was confiscated."

Silly me. And here I thought you were advocating for armed Border Patrol Agents to stop, seize, detain, interrogate & search us absent suspicion for illegal aliens & narcotics no where near the border when in reality you're advocating for Border Patrol agents to trample our rights to protect us from chocolate eggs....

"Let's take a look:"

Yes, let's...

"The children’s candy has been banned in the United States because officials worry small children could choke on the small toy inside of it. The U.S. takes the domestic ban on the chocolate treat very seriously."

I'm sure they do. After all, U.S. officials wouldn't want to piss off Nestle or Cadbury by allowing competition from Ferrero into the country....

"CBC reports that U.S. border officials have seized more than 25,000 Kinder eggs in 2,000 separate seizures."

Golly, 25,000 chocolate eggs have been seized trying to enter the country illegally? I had no idea chocolate eggs wanted in so badly. So tell me, "The Road Guy", how are the gangs smuggling these eggs into the country? Are they hiding them in the middle of bails of marijuana or do they swallow them in plastic bags while trying to cross at official ports of entry?

"Mike Milne, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the ban is supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 'They have been determined to present … a choking hazard to young children,' he said."

A choking hazard? Oh my god! How many children have died from these evil chocolate eggs (that appear to be legal in every other country around the world including our neighbors to the North) over the years....Hmmm, according to wikipedia, it looks like there have been a grand total of 9 deaths worldwide since 1991 attributed to the eggs.

Now let's put those numbers in perspective shall we? Annually in the United States there are approximately 4,700 choking deaths associated with foreign objects and 75 choking deaths from food.

Breaking out the border warriors to protect us from one death worldwide every other year associated with a chocolate egg seems like a misuse of scarce resources don't you think? Perhaps what the gov't should really be protecting us from consuming is food in general since food is responsible for so many more choking deaths per year then chocolate eggs with toy surprises.

Just think, if gov't was to ban food, it could also solve the country's obesity problem at the same time. In other words, the gov't could in effect kill two birds with one egg....How's that for an efficient use of your tax dollars?

"But in your myopic world a kid choking on a toy is no big deal."

It's a big deal. Just not one worthy of armed federal agents seizing people absent suspicion along public highways no where near an international border.

"Do you feel kinda foolish, yet?"

I don't feel nearly as foolish as you actually are.

"Of course not - you're all for little kids choking as long as it supports your warped agenda."

You've convinced me of the error of my ways. I now not only support the use of Border Patrol agents & chocolate egg sniffing K9's against domestic traffic anywhere inside the country except the actual border but also Crackerjack swat teams to randomly raid houses across the country looking for stashes of old Cracker Jack boxes with plastic toy surprises inside. After all you can never be too careful these days when going about the serious business of saving us from ourselves....
Permalink 2011-03-27 @ 23:52
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor]
You see a sign at a checkpoint saying "elevated terrorist threat" and then you see an ex-juvenile delinquent in a brown uniform up ahead, and you know what they mean.

I say "ex" advisedly. They're a greater danger to Americans than chocolate eggs.

BP has seized 25,000 Kinder eggs in 2,000 separate seizures? It's no wonder that after all these years and all the mis-spent tax dollars there's still an elevated terrorist threat.

These brown clowns are spending all their time on chocolate eggs. Must be a color thing.

BP: "Our sniffer dogs can smell chocolate real good; terrorists not so much."

So the chocolate egg threat is decreased but we still have an an elevated terrorist threat.

Thanks, Border Patrol, who says: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
Permalink 2011-04-02 @ 20:02
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
This video is disconcerting to me. Many videos have reflected poorly on this checkpoint and the agents that man it. In spite of this, these agents still act in an unprofessional manner, even when they know they are being recorded.
Are they showing us they can do whatever they want, to intimidate us? If so, I'm intimidated. They don't care if they look like an unprofessional gang of highwaymen.

Alternatively, perhaps these agents are an extremely low cut of humanity, and extremely tupidly and reckless, and impossible to manage.
You'd think their management would rein them in - but after all that has transpired, it doesn't happen. Is the management of the Border Patrol evil and venal. It appears they want their agents to look like a bunch of thugs. If they didn't they would require that these agents act professionally.

I fear the government is using these checkpoints to demonstrate to us that this is our future, which is chilling. I agree that the primary purpose of this checkpoint is not to stem illegal immigration. It is to demonstrate the unchecked power of the government and to humiliate us.

These agents are scum. I suspect that's on purpose. This is humiliating, and frightening. I deeply hate and fear these people. I have absolutely no charity in my heart for them. When I examine my own feelings toward these people, that too is frightening to me. I fear this country will come to a bad end. The American people are sheep. I fear the government will be successful. Americans are a useless people. I see people fighting in Libya, Yemen, Iraq. I see Americans shopping, and licking government boots.
Permalink 2011-04-04 @ 20:51
Comment from: Matt Bieker [Visitor]
Thanks for exposing idiots.

Look at the ridiculous comments these morons put forward in all seriousness.

Our ancestors traveled across the
ocean. We tackled the wilderness.

Now we are afraid of chocolate eggs.

Our country is doomed.
Permalink 2011-05-10 @ 01:47
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
Where I live it's becoming common police procedure to ask for consent to search your car. If you refuse you are handcuffed and put in the back of the Police car. They then tow your car to a police impound yard where they hold it for up to 30 days as "evidence" in an investigation. Surprisingly, they often just let the person go, waiting I suppose for the results of the search. I've heard that they seek a warrant from a judge to search the car in impound. Alternatively I've heard that they consult with the Prosecutor about whether to search. Maybe it's Prosecutor first and judge second. I'm guessing. I had never heard of this before a few days ago, but an internet search reveals that it is standard practice in many places. The local police here are saying this is standard procedure when someone refuses consent to search their car. This seems like a lot of trouble for the police and the system to go through.
This seems like a hopeless situation. The Constitution is in tatters. Maybe they allege they smell marijuana or something to get the warrant. I'm just learning about this, and trying to figure it out. Have you heard of this? If they find nothing in the car, who pays the towing and impound fee? The police supervisor told my hapless friend that the police handcuffed him and put him in the back of the car so he couldn't consent later to the search, because he was handcuffed and in the police car, so now any consent would be "coerced." So . . . now they HAVE to tow the car to search it because now they can't get valid consent. Evidently this procedure is holding up in Court all over the country, even in states with the highest protections from the state Constitution.
If you exercise your Constitutional rights, they are going to take your car.
There's some case law cited here on page 7, but I haven't looked into it yet.
http://le.alcoda.org/publications/point_of_view/files/F09_VEHICLE_SEARCHES.pdf
Here's some discussion of it among cops evidently.
http://forums.officer.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-161292.html
Yikes.
Permalink 2011-05-12 @ 21:38
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Doug

From the links provided, it still appears that cops need consent to search a vehicle or probable cause and a warrant in most cases. Further, if a cop seizes a vehicle and has it towed with the intent of searching it later, he needs probable cause at the time the vehicle is towed (seized) in order to justify the seizure and the eventual warrant. If a cop engages in these actions without probable cause, he setting himself up for a costly lawsuit.

This is why recording all encounters with the police is very important. Without an independent record showing what transpired during the initial stop, it's easy for a cop to lie in order to claim probable cause for a seizure and warrant. With a record, it makes it much more difficult.

Further, if it can be shown that a cop impounded a vehicle based on the fact that someone exercised their right not to be searched absent probable cause, I know several attorneys that would have a field day with him, not to mention a large settlement in the end....
Permalink 2011-05-21 @ 15:45
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
The impounding of my friend's car has come to a conclusion (above).
The above happened to my friend's kid. Cops said that a big box store manager called the police and said kids (late teens early twenties I'd guess) were engaging in a drug deal in the parking lot. The kids were driving down the road when pulled over by city police - they were not in the parking lot. The car was impounded "as part of an investigation," and it was indeed searched in the impound lot - the police must have gotten a warrant. No charges were filed and the car was released from impound. They spent 3 days and traveled 60 miles round trip on each of 3 round trips before actually getting the impound lot to release the car. They were not charged for the tow or impound. The police said they did find drug paraphernalia in the car, but evidently nothing that could be charged as a criminal offense. They did not return the paraphernalia. The car was in impound for about a week and a half or two I'd guess. Cops said they were impounding lots of cars "for investigation" when search was refused because they were quite successful in making arrests using this technique. It looks like they go through a lot of trouble doing this to me. We live in an over-policed area. It appears to me that government can do anything it wants, and it doesn't seem to even be aware of Constitutional rights.
It's the same for the citizenry. Where I live the liquor stores are now required to check every alcohol buyer to see if there is a stripe on their driver's license that indicates they are not allowed to buy alcohol. It would seem to me that makes the store clerk a state agent (enforcing statute). This strikes me as a suspicionless search, since it is not founded on Probable Cause. The search is under duress because if you don't submit to the search you don't get the alcohol. The Assembly voted for this, even though it appears unconstitutional to me. The voters voted for this also. Americans don't care about their rights. They don't even want their rights. The Constitution is gone. It is already gone. The public doesn't care. I think they like it. The Police State is what Americans want. They disgust me.
Permalink 2011-05-27 @ 20:36
Comment from: Robert F. [Visitor]
Thanks to both of you guys reading this blog was very entertaining. Briefly, I'm retired California Police. I've always had the utmost respect for both US Marshals and Border Patrol. I wouldn't piss on the FBI if it were on fire but thats another story. I,ve got to say that I'm dead set against this federal checkpoints that are away from the border.Freedom of movement is essential all other freedom. It goes back to the Magna Carta and before. I will never cooperate with any of these checkpoints or the TSA any more than I have to to avoid arrest. Anyone who has taken an oath to defend the constitution and understood it should feel the same.
Permalink 2011-11-29 @ 21:23
Comment from: Robert F. [Visitor]
P.S. I'm Now on a mission to get one or more "KinderEggs" and some incandescent lightbulbs.
I'm also very pissed. I now realize that "Cracker Jacks"no longer has toys because of the lame Federal goverment. That fact alone should be cause for insurection.
Permalink 2011-11-29 @ 21:39

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.

April 2014
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Search

Categories


Misc

Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by
b2evolution