I started writing this post a few years ago after the ACLU of Arizona first released it’s Record of Abuse investigative report regarding U.S. Border Patrol interior enforcement operations in the Tucson and Yuma sectors. I let the article get away from me at the time but recent events have brought me back to it.
If there’s one thing people can agree on regarding CBP (Customs & Border Protection), it’s that the agency routinely operates over the line. To illustrate this fact, Rachael Maddux of the Virginia Quarterly Review recently published a wide ranging article on CBP operations inside the country. The article is available online at:
For the article, Checkpoint USA was interviewed back in the summer of 2017 & briefly mentioned in the piece. The article is worth the read and should cover several topics of interest to readers of this blog. Some of those topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A discussion on CBP’s legal authority to operate inside the country along with some of the history associated with that authority
- A recent seizure of domestic plane travelers by CBP agents at New York’s JFK airport
- The ACLU’s 100 Mile Zone and recent publications such as, “Record of Abuse: Lawlessness and Impunity in Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Operations”
- Ambiguity in CBP’s interior enforcement operations including the lack of adequate record keeping
- CBP’s fight against transparency in its interior operations
- The author’s personal interior checkpoint experience
- Several other recent instances of CBP abuse and overreach
The Tucson Weekly has an interesting article in last week’s edition titled:
It’s actually an excerpt from a book titled, STORMING THE WALL, by Todd Miller. The article does a good job painting real faces on the people Border Patrol agents routinely abuse, harass and traumatize at suspicionless checkpoints/roadblocks along domestic highways across the Southwest.
An excerpt from the article appears below:
"Sit down," the agent barks.The children immediately sit on the burning asphalt. Garcia doesn't sit. He is trying to articulate, now by his actions, that he doesn't consent. The pause is enough to irritate the agent again. "Sit the fuck down," the agent says to the U.S. citizen, again raising his billy club. Garcia finally complies. The border between these two sets of U.S. citizens is as powerful as the actual international border, and the threat of violence can emerge as suddenly and fiercely as an oncoming storm. - Checkpoint Trauma, Tucson Weekly, September 21, 2017
2017 has seen a resurgence in the U.S. Border Patrol’s ongoing war against freedom of movement inside the country. This despite the fact the U.S. Border Patrol is supposed to, well, patrol the actual border:
The United States Border Patrol (USBP) is an American federal law enforcement agency. Its mission is to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband. It is the mobile, uniformed law enforcement arm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With over 21,000 agents, the U.S. Border Patrol is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States. - Wikipedia
Given however that Customs & Border Protection has little interest in shutting down more than about 30% of illegal traffic at the actual border due to CBP corruption and the impact of enforcement operations on cross-border commercial traffic, one can see why the Border Patrol continues to shift its dog and pony show away from actual border enforcement activities and towards interior enforcement operations that significantly interfere with domestic traffic.
While I have much to say about Rick Rynearson’s treatment at the hands of jack-booted Border Patrol thugs at internal suspicionless roadblocks and black-robed judicial thugs in the judicial system, I’ll let Rick speak for himself….
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.”
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: