I started writing this blog entry, regarding a disabled school teacher dragged out of her vehicle and forced to the ground at a Marfa, TX checkpoint in 2015, shortly after first hearing about it. Unfortunately, I let the story get away from me by sitting on it for too long as I tried doing research on several related issues and waiting for more information regarding the incident to come to light. To be frank, I forgot about it after a while and didn’t come across it again until just recently while dusting off the website & prepping for new content. Despite the age of the incident however, I think it’s an important story to highlight because it shows several things that are so very wrong with interior suspicionless roadblocks in America.
While on vacation and traveling the Southwest in January of this year, Mark Edge along with his wife and young son gained some valuable insights into what it’s like to live within the occupied territories of the United States of America. During their travels, they were stopped and seized absent reasonable suspicion no less than four times by armed paramilitary troops operating suspicionless roadblocks with impunity along public highways inside the United States of America.
Evan Bernick | 17 March 2016
It is an issue that affects millions of American motorists: Can border patrol agents detain you simply because they believe you are being difficult? Last year, a federal court concluded that it was “reasonable” for border patrol agents performing citizenship checks to detain Richard Rynearson at an immigration checkpoint for 23 minutes after he offered the agents both his military and personal passports, without any suspicion of criminal activity. In rejecting Rynearson’s Fourth Amendment claims, the court brushed aside compelling evidence—captured on video—that the agents deliberately prolonged Rynearson’s detention because he dared to question the propriety of some of their questions and instructions.
I recently received an email from Joe Williams regarding his ongoing legal battles over suspicionless roadblocks in Atlanta, Georgia. Joe sends word that he will be in court on Wednesday February 10, 2016 over bogus charges filed against him by Atlanta checkpoint cops who prefer policing for profit.over protecting and serving.
For past posts regarding Joe’s principled stands at suspicionless checkpoints, follow this link.
For current information regarding the state of policing for profit in Atlanta Georgia along with Joe’s status, read his recent update below and consider supporting him in court along with his efforts in general however you can:
Two recent articles in the main stream media highlight what most of us who live and work within 100 miles of the southern border have known for years. Interior Border Patrol checkpoints/roadblocks are ineffective, inefficient and rife with abuse.
Citing recently released ACLU documentation, the Associated Press reports that interior Border Patrol immigration checkpoints are responsible for less than 1% of illegal alien interdictions per year. See:
This despite the fact the Border Patrol allocates on the order of 10% of sector resources to interior checkpoint operations annually.
Also referencing the recent ACLU report regarding Border Patrol malfeasance, The New York Times wrote a far more comprehensive article. See:
Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school. Every time their parents take them to Tucson shopping. Every time they go to a friends house in Amado, or to Karate in Sahuarita. Men carry guns, dogs bark, lights flash. - Reason
On the weekend of May 27, 2015, a significant percentage of residents from Amado and Arivaca, AZ assembled at one of several federal CBP roadblocks that have been seizing local traffic entering and exiting their communities for the past eight years. During the assembly, residents staged a sit-in in order to draw attention to their long-standing petition for redress of grievances against the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) & its parent agency Customs & Border Protection (CBP). A petition that has been all but ignored by the powers that be:
Showing both courage and integrity, the video above depicts an active duty Border Patrol agent speaking out against the unlawful actions of fellow agents at so-called internal immigration checkpoints in Southern California.
Mike Flanders went public with his allegations of Border Patrol misconduct at internal checkpoints after his attempts at redress within CBP (Customs and Border Protection) were rebuffed. Not only were his concerns marginalized by his chain of command but his duties at the Interstate-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley were suspended and he was reassigned to roving patrol while an internal investigation and other adversarial actions were initiated against him.
In other words, Agent Flanders was retaliated against for daring to question the illegal actions of the agency. Something Customs & Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security are obviously quite good at – retaliation that is as opposed to Border Protection or Homeland Security.
They rightfully point out that the latest outrage from TSA, as exemplified by this incident, is only the most recent in a long list of outrages. They also point out that while a full-body naked-scan National Opt-Out day is a good start, for real change to take place much more needs to be done.
The video above is compliments of the Motorhome Diaries crew as they show us the high level of professionalism border agents (on both sides of the border) conduct themselves with when individual rights can be ignored with impunity.
Good news for those who value our Right to Travel.
On July 10, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court ruling regarding the legality of a regime of police checkpoints conducted in Washington, D.C. last year (see video above along with my previous post on this subject). Given that similar checkpoints are starting to pop up in cities such as Philadelphia and Baltimore, the precedent set in this case should send a strong warning to police departments around the country.