With a prison population of over 2 million people at any given time, the United States incarcerates more individuals per capita than any other country on the face of the planet. This incarceration rate has resulted in over 70 million adults having a criminal record in the United States today.
Let those numbers sink in for a minute. Approximately one in every three adults is saddled with a criminal record in this country. A country that houses more than 20% of the total number of incarcerated people around the world despite having only ~4% of the world’s population.
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:
On Monday February 9, 2015, Channel 13 News in Tucson, AZ (KOLD) published the above video and an investigative report on internal CBP checkpoints:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –
“There’s growing concern surrounding southern Arizona’s Border Patrol checkpoints. An increasing number of complaints are now coming from United States citizens who believe they’re wrongfully being questioned and sometimes detained by agents without probable cause….”
The complete report and video can be found on KOLD’s website at:
The video above depicts Border Patrol agent Michael Flanders acknowledging the right of individuals to not answer questions while being seized at internal Border Patrol roadblocks. For daring to do his duty in a professional, friendly and lawful manner, Agent Flanders is now facing termination from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
I initially wrote about Agent Flanders back in March of 2014. I hadn’t heard much more about him since then however until this most recent video. As part of the video posting, Agent Flanders also provided the following description:
Welcome to Checkpoint USA’s updated Roadblock Revelations blog!
With this interface, it should be easier to maintain the site, filter spam, open up comments, allow registered users and guest contributions, reduce the number of technical difficulties and add features as deemed necessary and desirable.
Older articles from Checkpoint USA’s original blog are slowly being migrated to this site . In the meantime, many of the links to older blog entries are currently broken but are being fixed as time becomes available to do so.
For those readers who have been following Checkpoint USA for a while, thank you for your continued interest. For new readers, welcome. To all, I look forward to providing a more utilitarian and interactive interface for discussing issues associated with suspicionless roadblocks in America and taking appropriate action regarding them
[Update: The show is now available online here. Another version of the story has also been released on latinousa.org]
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
But after reading through a recent investigative report from Politico, even I’m somewhat surprised at just how bad the corruption is within the Border Patrol along with the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to reign the agency in. See:
How do you know what organization(s) harbor or otherwise support the killer of Michael Brown? That’s an easy one. It’s the organization(s) that refuse to identify the killer until public outcry becomes too much to ignore. It’s the organizations that refuse to interview eye witnesses to the killing. It’s the organization(s) that turn its resources against people speaking out & protesting against the killing of Michael Brown instead of turning its resources against his killer: