On March 18, 2010 Major Richard Rynearson, an active duty air force pilot, was illegally detained for over 34 minutes at an internal immigration checkpoint near Uvalde, Texas despite answering all immigration related questions and showing multiple forms of identification to Border Patrol agents. Agents who were far more interested in harassing Mr. Rynearson than verifying his immigration status. Instead of disciplining his subordinates for violating Border Patrol legal guidance, violating the law and violating Mr. Rynearson’s rights, Chief Patrol Agent Robert Harris (depicted below) doubled down by writing a letter to Rynearson’s command complaining about Rynearson actually exercising some of those rights Harris is responsible for protecting.
Beginning Friday November 21, 2014, the public radio show This American Life will air a segment on internal Border Patrol checkpoints. I was interviewed last month by the show regarding my history & experiences at some of these checkpoints.
For those who want to listen to the show when it airs, you can find out what station it will be available on in your area along with dates and times here. Otherwise, the show should be archived and available online here