Court Says Arizona Residents Hassled By CBP Encroachment Can Move Forward With Their First Amendment Lawsuit

from the jackbooted-thugs-as-a-service dept

About a half-decade ago, Customs and Border Patrol turned roads in and out of a small Arizona town into East Germany. Now, the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has ruled residents of Arivaca, Arizona can move forward with the civil rights lawsuit against several federal government agencies, including the DHS and CBP.

The backstory to the lawsuit is stunning, in a "surely this can't be happening in America" sort of way. The New York Times covered the misery of Arivaca residents back in 2014. It shows what can happen when the federal government is allowed to turn large swathes of American soil into a proto-DMZ with armed guards and "papers, please" checkpoints.

Every time Jack Driscoll drives the 32 miles from this remote outpost in southeastern Arizona to the closest supermarket, or to doctor’s appointments, or to a pharmacy to fill his prescriptions, he must stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint and answer the same question: “Are you a U.S. citizen?”

Sometimes, Border Patrol agents ask where he is going or coming from, the type of car he is driving, what is in that bag on the back seat or what brings him to these parts, even though he has lived here for more than a year.

[...]

He is not the only one in this community of 800 whose anger is boiling over. Although checkpoints are a fact of life here — the tollbooth-like way stations are part of the routine for anyone driving the highways near the border — citizens like Mr. Driscoll are now starting to raise questions about whether the familiar but irritating routine violates their constitutional rights, which include protections against arbitrary stops and searches.

Most residents of Arivaca have to leave town to do anything. The small town has few services, forcing residents to deal with the CBP every time they travel anywhere else. Surrounded by three roads with three checkpoints, residents have no option but to subject themselves to unneeded scrutiny, apparently in perpetuity. Despite the CBP's stranglehold on this particular border-adjacent area, no one who's dealt with CBP hassle for years has seen much in the way of border protection. And they would know, because they've been watching.

This year, volunteers organized, gathering hundreds of signatures and picketing outside the Border Patrol offices in Tucson to try to get the checkpoints removed, to no avail. For several months, small groups monitored the busiest of the area’s checkpoints, on Arivaca Road, noting things like the length of the stops, the questions asked and the number of drivers pulled aside for a search of their vehicle and belongings.

“We didn’t see any arrests,” said one of the volunteers, Peter Ragan, 52, a landscaper who has lived in Arivaca for 12 years. “There were no undocumented people apprehended at the checkpoint, no drugs interdicted, no murderers, rapists or terrorists we were defended against, as far as we could see.”

To be clear, none of these residents ever leave the country. All of this activity -- this constant monitoring of 800 residents of a small Arizona town -- targets US citizens going from place to place entirely within US borders. The pushback by residents was limited to monitoring CBP operations from public roads. No one interfered with the work being done by officers. All they did was watch, record, and protest the CBP activities.

The CBP didn't like this. It couldn't just tell residents to leave, however. That would have been too obvious of a Constitutional violation. Instead, the CBP did everything it could to deter citizens from documenting the agency's activities. From the appeals court decision [PDF]:

Some of them, as part of an organization called People Helping People (PHP), held a protest near the checkpoint area on December 8, 2013. The protest was spurred by community complaints that BP agents racially profiled, unlawfully searched, and used excessive force on people stopped at the checkpoint. The BP agent in charge of the checkpoint area learned of the planned protest and decided to suspend checkpoint operations during the protest, allegedly for the safety of all involved, which permitted cars to pass uninspected. On February 26, 2014, the Appellants and others returned to the checkpoint area to protest and to monitor activities within the checkpoint area. The protesters stood first on the south side of Arivaca Road, and later on the north side of the road, in each case approximately 100 feet east of the portable office. After the protesters refused to move further away from the checkpoint area, BP agents erected a yellow tape barrier across the north and south shoulders of Arivaca Road approximately 150 feet east of the portable office unit, and required the protesters to relocate behind those barriers.

First, there was the arbitrary decision by the CBP that moved protesters and observers back 50 feet, as though 100 feet wasn't far enough away for the CBP to do its work without interference. Anyone crossing the tape barrier was threatened with arrest.

Then there's the fact that the CBP only enforced this ad hoc barrier against protesters and observers.

Several incidents led Appellants to believe that the enforcement zone policy was selectively enforced against them. The agents in charge stated in an email to Appellants and at a public presentation that agents on the scene are the ones who determine “who can enter into the perimeter” and “where [Appellants] can and can’t be.” On April 3, 2014, one of the Appellants saw a local resident arrive at the checkpoint area, park inside the enforcement zone, and remain inside the barrier for approximately 40 minutes. The local resident’s wife also arrived and parked inside the barrier. The local resident, who was known to be a supporter of the BP and an opponent of PHP, questioned and harassed the PHP protesters. BP agents did not ask the local resident to leave the enforcement area. As he departed, he shouted “Well, we had our fun today” to the BP agents on duty, who smiled and laughed. When the Appellants asked an agent at the checkpoint area if they had given the local residents permission to be in the enforcement zone, the agent replied, “It’s a free country.”

Is it? Sure doesn't seem like it when you're being asked about your citizenship several times a week and forced to stand behind an arbitrary barrier to even look at a CBP checkpoint.

Sometimes the tape barrier wasn't enough for the CBP. It also engaged in activities clearly aimed at preventing observation from behind the barriers.

On another occasion, BP agents allowed reporters and pedestrians to walk along the north side of the road through the enforcement zone during a PHP rally; but, on the same day, agents parked their vehicles so as to impede the PHP monitors from even viewing, much less entering, the enforcement zone.

The residents sued (with the assistance of the ACLU), alleging First Amendment violations. The district court ruled in favor of the CBP, granting summary judgment before any discovery had occurred. It called the three CBP checkpoints (which were supposed to be temporary) "nonpublic forums" where citizens could be removed without violating their rights.

The Appeals Court calls this decision premature, stating that the plaintiffs have raised several issues which require discovery to proceed before they can be ruled on.

The panel held that appellants identified several areas where discovery was relevant to critical matters at issue in the summary judgment motion. First, information regarding law enforcement uses of the checkpoint area encompassed within the enforcement zone was relevant to the determination of whether the enforcement zone was a public or a nonpublic forum. Second, information about who had been allowed into the enforcement zone could reveal whether the enforcement zone has been applied selectively based on viewpoint. Finally, information regarding traffic stops at the checkpoint was relevant to determine the accuracy of data gathered by appellants and their alternative opportunities for observation, as would be required to justify their exclusion from a public forum.

This decision allows the residents of Arivaca to move forward with their lawsuit and start demanding records from the CBP. The first point of attack against the "nonpublic forum" argument begins with the CBP's own antagonistic actions. As the court notes, the inconsistent approach taken by the CBP in regards to its makeshift protester barriers raises a lot of questions about the supposed "neutral viewpoint" of the CBP's enforcement.

The government’s stated policy is that “pedestrians are allowed inside the checkpoint only for official purposes,” but without the benefit of discovery Appellants have already adduced evidence that calls that policy into question. While BP has consistently excluded Appellants and other protesters from the enforcement zone, the record shows that other visitors who were not protesting have been allowed inside. Whether the enforcement zone is a public or a nonpublic forum, evidence that civilians friendly or neutral to BP have been permitted into the enforcement zone while other civilians with a hostile message have been excluded—beyond the incidents already in the record—would tend to create a genuine issue of material fact as to the viewpoint neutrality of the government’s policy.

Hopefully, this will result in a win for the plaintiffs. Their protests and documentation are the only way they can fight back against the CBP's inland encroachment. The continued observation will likely show the only purpose these checkpoints serve is to disrupt the lives of American citizens traveling entirely within the borders of the United States.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:05pm

    If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

    If the Border Patrol is using the excuse that the national borders somehow invalidate the constitution, wouldn't that mean they have no legal reason to exist?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:21pm

      Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

      If the Border Patrol is using the excuse

      It's not an excuse. Controlling borders is a big part of national defense. There's also the Coast Guard always on patrol, besides Navy at times.

      that the national borders somehow invalidate the constitution,

      Simply wrong. The border has been determined to be a necessary transition zone, as EVERY country practices, and while extended powers the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme, it's clearly necessary too.

      wouldn't that mean they have no legal reason to exist?

      No. Do you locks on your house and car, snowflake? Same principle.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:29pm

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        >while extended powers the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme, it's clearly necessary too.

        Clearly necessary for violating the constitutional rights of citizens you mean. For as much as you seem to hate foreigners, you seem to hate citizens just as much.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        The Border was not where any of this happened. I have no problems with border Patrol patrolling the actual boarders but once you are in this country, you have rights regardless of your citizenship status. The primary right is to be free from illegal searches and seizures. If you can't understand that basic concept, you should go back to school now. Keep claiming to be afraid of the boogieman and giving up rights right up until you realize you have none left. I am fighting for my rights now, not once its too late.

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        • identicon
          Christenson, 1 Mar 2018 @ 6:43pm

          The constitution is most necessary near the border...for everyone!

          That is, the bill of rights should be for everyone, with no citizenship requirements, everywhere the government operates, including the border.

          In fact, as it gets harder and harder to tell who is who or where someone is on the internet, the implication is that the NSA should operate using warrants just like the FBI is supposed to, even if it is Vladimir Putin being spied upon.

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      • identicon
        Qwertygiy., 1 Mar 2018 @ 6:49pm

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        Alright, let's go step by step.

        Controlling borders is a big part of national defense.

        Absolutely correct. If you don't exert any amount of control over who comes in and out of your country, you don't really have a country. You can't determine where your citizens are, or even who your citizens are.

        There's also the Coast Guard always on patrol, besides Navy at times.

        Not quite the same as the CBP. The Coast Guard and the Navy operate outside the actual coastline borders of the United States. It is much, much, much more difficult for them to intercept a US citizen who is proceeding directly from one point in the country to another the way that the mentioned CBP officers do. They are much more akin to airport security than the CBP, because the only place that there is a lane that they can block, is at the ports.

        The border has been determined to be a necessary transition zone

        As stated above, it certainly is important to exercise control over what crosses your border...

        as EVERY country practices

        ...but not every country does, no. The Schengen Area in Europe has practically no border control as far as people go. Once you're inside the European Union, you're inside the European Union. You don't need an extra check to get from Germany to France.

        and while extended powers the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme

        Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's absolutely extreme. Now we're not talking about the border anymore. The border is the edge of the nation, with no physical width. Not 100 miles inland. If we were talking about state borders instead of the nation's border, that would mean that the entire states of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia consist of nothing but their border! South Carolina would have about 20 square miles in the city of Columbia that are not part of the border! Georgia would have a similarly sized pocket east of Macon, and Arkansas would only have a 10-by-10 spot north of Conway! A little patch of forest would be the only free space in Idaho! That's how huge of a constitutionally-ignoring zone we're talking about here.

        it's clearly necessary too.

        I very, very highly doubt this.

        How is the border patrol more effective -- necessary amounts of more effective -- when it is spread out over 100 miles instead of stationed within a more reasonable amount, like 2 miles of the border? Even 5? How many more people have they caught improperly entering the US after they've already gotten 50 miles inland? And how many of those that they did, might have been stopped earlier if the border patrol had increased their density by moving closer to the border they're patrolling?

        No. Do you locks on your house and car, snowflake? Same principle.

        I think you misunderstood his question. If every law in the US is given the force of law via the constitution... and the CBP is given power by the laws of the US... then the CBP's power comes from the constitution. And if the constitution has no power 100 miles from the border... the CBP has no power 100 miles from the border, either.

        As far as locking my house, I don't know about you, but I put a lock and doorbell on the outside doors, not 10 feet inside the house. I don't need to lock the kitchen door or put a doorbell on my bathroom door.

        TL:DR; Control of the border is important. 100 miles inland is not the border.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

          I don't think state borders count but I do believe international airports count.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 12:58am

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        The use of the word snowflake invalidates all of the rest of your your arguments.

        Stop being a jackass and I'll think about listening to your arguments, keep being a jackass and be dismissed as a jackass.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

          Heh. I was going just disagree with some of his statements but as soon as snowflake entered the picture it was pointless to argue. If you don't even give the modicum of respect to the person you are arguing with then why even argue. Nothing will change with such a disrespectful start of an argument.

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        • identicon
          Cowardly Lion, 2 Mar 2018 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

          +1

          I was going to say this, but you beat me to it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 3:48am

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        "No. Do you locks on your house and car, snowflake? Same principle."

        At "snowflake" you showed your fascist colors.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 7:11am

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        "the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme, it's clearly necessary"

        You are a fucking idiot or a CBP agent (which is means you are an arrogant idiot)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 1:21pm

        Re: Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

        Moron says "snowflake." Everyone drink.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 8:12am

      Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

      To sharpen it: if the Constitution doesn't apply there, it must not belong to the United States. Therefore, it belongs to Mexico, and the US cops have to clear out.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 20 Aug 2018 @ 10:28am

      Re: If the constitution doesn't apply near the border...

      Yes, it would mean exactly that. All federal organizations in all three branches are creations of the Constitution or the result of actions authorized by the Constitution.

      If the Constitution does not apply in any given area -- such as outside of the national border or within a certain distance inside of it -- then nothing authorized by the Constitution or by statutes the Constitution has authorized or by regulations authorized by those Constitution-authorized statutes does not apply there either.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:15pm

    BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

    I'm sure it's a pain for the residents of the god-forsaken isolated desert that illegals frequent, BUT you entirely omit the CAUSE.

    Next, how you construe LOSING THE CRUCIAL FIRST ROUND and going ahead with appeal as "moving forward" and cause for celebration is a question of abnormal psychology. And a hoot.


    Still on topic: did you notice that the wacky liberal 9th Circuit was overturned on 6 month hearings for detained illegals?

    "Supreme Court rules immigrants can be detained indefinitely"

    http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/375791-supreme-court-rules-immigrants -can-be-detained-indefinitely

    Since can be detained INDEFINITELY -- I guess that's if refuse to just LEAVE -- then clearly immigrants do not have anywhere near the same rights as citizens. Just DROP that notion.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:26pm

      Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

      Being present in the US without permission is not a criminal offense, but don't let facts get in the way of your xenophobic rant.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:44pm

        Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

        Hmm...might want to double check your facts on that.

        Title 8, Section 1325 of the U.S. Code (U.S.C.), Section 275 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.)

        Seem to think it is a crime for which penalties are set forth

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        • identicon
          Whoever, 1 Mar 2018 @ 5:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

          Sorry, AC, but you can't read.

          The code you reference only talks about entering the USA. Many "illegals" simply overstay their visa, which would not be covered by that code.

          GP was correct to say that "Being present in the US without permission is not a criminal offense".

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 6:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

            Criminal? Not necessarily, but you can be deported from the moment your visa expires, and there can be additional bans, although not fines or jail time like there is for illegal entry.

            If you accrue unlawful presence of more than 180 continuous days but less than one year, but you leave before any official, formal removal procedures (i.e. deportation) are instituted against you, you will be barred from reentering the United States for a period of three years.

            If you accrue unlawful presence of more than 365 continuous days, then leave prior to any deportation or other formal procedures being instituted against you, you will be subsequently barred from reentering the United States for a period of ten years.

            alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/consequences-of-overstaying-on-temporary-visa.html

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

        Look, I'm all in favor of a reasonably open country and less of the irrational and racist fearmongering aimed at immigrants that has been on the rise, but being in the US without permission is absolutely not allowed.

        If you're not a US citizen, you either need to have a visa, or you need to be from one of about two dozen countries (primarily the EU, part of the Caribbean, Canada, Australia, and Japan) and stay less than 90 days, or be from a handful of island nations we have a free trade agreement with, like Palau.

        Otherwise, sneaking across the border, overstaying your visa, or lying while applying for a visa can get you jailed for 6 months.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 8:59pm

          What does it mean to be a US citizen?

          Strangely enough, just being born inside the US borders is not enough to make you a citizen. There is one other requirement that I found boggling. You have to born in an area that has a specific quality about it if the piece of land doesn't have that quality, you may be in trouble getting your citizenship.

          Note: I am not a US citizen and found this very strange.

          Look up the fine print rules.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 9:44pm

            Re: What does it mean to be a US citizen?

            I'm not sure what you're being so mysterious about. There are two areas that are considered "outlying possessions" of the United States -- American Samoa and Swains Island. People who are born on these two islands are U.S. nationals, but not U.S. citizens (unless at least one of their parents is a U.S. citizen who has spent at least 1 continuous year in any territory or possession of the United States).

            Otherwise, you're a US citizen if any of the following apply:

            - You're born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of it. (This excludes the children of diplomats.)

            - You're born in the United States to any Native American tribe.

            - You were found in the U.S. with unknown parentage under the age of 5, and weren't proven to be foreign-born before you turned 21.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to married parents, both of whom are U.S. citizens, one of whom has resided in the U.S.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to married parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen who has lived in the United States for at least one continuous year, and the other of whom is a U.S. national.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to married parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen who was physically present in the United States for five years, two of which must be after the parent turned 14 years old.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to married parents, and have a grandparent who is a U.S. citizen and was physically present in the United States for five years, two of which must be after the grandparent turned 14 years old.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to a mother who is an American citizen, who has lived in the United States for a continuous period of one year.

            - You were born outside the U.S. to a father who is an American citizen, who has lived in the United States for a continuous period of one year, who has agreed to provide financial support for you until you turn 18, and who has claimed paternity under oath or has been established as the father by a court of law.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 8:16am

            Re: What does it mean to be a US citizen?

            Your mysterious quality of land is so mysterious that even if we find something mysterious about the quality of land, it will not be possible to know if it is your mysterious.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 7:13pm

        Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

        Really? Being present in the US without permission is not criminal? How stupid are you? Are you actually saying that anyone from anywhere can just drop in and they have done nothing criminal?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 8:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

          Yes, really, it's not a crime. Lots of things that are unlawful are not crimes. It's generally not a crime to park illegally, or to speed, even though you can be pulled over and cited for those things.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 10:04am

          Re: Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

          It is a civil matter not a criminal matter.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:54pm

      Common law

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 8:47pm

      Re:

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 3:51am

      Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

      Indeed, blame the criminals, terrorists for us screwing up with your Constitutional rights and making your lives miserable! I think I now agree with you, to get rid of all criminals we should nuke the entire country flat. The ends justify the means, right? Problem solved!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Machin Shin, 2 Mar 2018 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

        My big problem these days is things like the FBI inventing terrorist plots to arrest some poor mentally handicapped kid they tricked. Then seeing the papers released about MLK where there was plans for staged terrorist attacks.

        It sadly has reached the point where I find myself having to question. Who are these terrorists? Are we really under some great threat from outsiders, or is it our own Government making a power grab by making of fear a mostly imaginary threat?

        Even more sad is the fact that I look at it and find the whole "war on terrorism" stupid any way you do the math. We are spending billions fighting guys in caves.... Imagine if we took all that money and spent it making our roads safer. We could easily save far more lives than the terrorist could kill.

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        • icon
          mhajicek (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 12:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

          Congratulations, you have woken up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 11:12am

      Re: BUT the PROBLEM IS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BLAME THE CRIMINALS, NOT THE POLICE. -- This will surely at least reduce when Trump gets the wall up, and it's apparently begun.

      Tell me...once you've gotten rid of all of the immigrants, who are you inbred fucktards going to blame when your lot in life is still the same shitty mess it is today?

      You're still going to be poor white trailer trash. The only thing that will change is that you can finally be the bean picker you've always wanted to be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    z! (profile), 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:38pm

    If I lived there, I'd be organizing the other residents to drive back and forth through the checkpoints as often as possible; give the BP folks something more to do and make a recording of each crossing.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 4:34am

      Re:

      Sadly the CBP would just use the increase in traffic in order to try and justify an increased budget for their sector.

      More money = more agents/more harassment

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    DONT BE STUPID BE EDUCATED, 1 Mar 2018 @ 4:54pm

    QUIT USING GOOGLE IN BACKGROUND NOW

    YOUR SITE GETTING SOME DATA FROM GOOGLE IS HANGING UP THE BROWSER

    CYA ITS GONNA SCREW YOU

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 5:04pm

    I think something is being over looked.

    The place being described is a small town on rural roads far from any main roads. Every body knows every body else and has all their life. Every body speaks both English and Spanish to some degree.

    The individual being described is an outsider. The article states he has lived there for over a year which means less than two years. Which raises big questions in ever local's mind "What is he doing here?", "Where did he come from?", and "What is he up to?". And, you would be surprised at the answers that will be dreamed up so it is not surprising that the feds want to keep track on him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Mar 2018 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      Just how many checks does it take to answer your questions? Is there no way for the three CBP checkpoints to coordinate information? Or is it the actual purpose of the CBP checkpoints to harass anyone that does not support their harassment of US citizens going about their perfectly legal business, whatever that may be.

      The answers are for question 1, one. For question 2, yes there is. For question 3, it definitely depends upon ones point of view, if one is anti Latino, then no, if one is pro Constitution, then the answer is yes.

      The Constitution does not claim any 100 mile exclusion zone, though some courts have claimed that zone to be reasonable. For me, there should be no exclusion zones, only the Constitution. If there are things that need to be done, close to the borders that are not able to be done elsewhere, then the legislature should make laws that make those exceptions, and then expect Constitutional challenges to them. Which, I suspect due to the clumsiness of legislative language will be determined to be unconstitutional.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 7:07am

      Re:

      I doubt it takes 3 checkpoints to keep track of one person. Even the government isn't that fucked up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      Your comment is totally out of proportion. Small towns might be slow to socially accept newcomers, but they don't need law enforcement to help in this process.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        Obviously you have never dealt with rural law enforcement who are in the business of suspicion about everything. Anything out of the normal attracts their attention and what could possible be more out of their ordinary than someone showing up out of the blue, driving through their checkpoint, and irritating them on a daily bases. The question they are going to ask is why is that person here? And if they do not get an answer that satisfies them they are going to get very curious and let their imagination run wild. Their beliefs will go the relative sane of 'that person is helping terrorists enter the US by means of hot air balloons directly from Afghanistan' to the complete utter outlandish.

        As far as the people in the village accepting you realize that the people in the village are not law enforcement whose job it is to be suspicious.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 6:30pm

    Was this part Jade Helm 15 ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2018 @ 7:25pm

    Land of the free
    Home of the Fucked
    Bend over sheeple
    thee are not free

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      NeghVar (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Here are the checkpoints

      Considering how paranoid they are about videos and photo of themselves, I'm surprised they let the google SV car through without confiscating their hard drives.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Madd the Sane (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 3:22pm

        Re: Re: Here are the checkpoints

        If they did that, they'd draw the ire of Google. Google has a lot of money: they could drown the checkpoints in costly litigation after costly litigation.
        And exposure.

        They want to rule over their fiefdom without worrying about the thing known as accountability.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 6:05am

    this seems to have been an experiment which, having been successful up to now, would have been a corner stone of what is happening everywhere in the USA, ie it is being turned into the exact opposite of what the war was fought for, to rid itself of the overburdening influence of Gt Britain, surely, to stop being dictated to and be a law-abiding, but free country!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 6:31am

    Here is the problem that we face in the United States.

    If this bullshit was done under Trump, it would be expected. It happened under Obama.

    I am a former Marine. I swore to uphold the Constitution, as does every member of the Military, as does every Politician, as does every government agency (CIA, FBI, NSA) and law enforcement member.

    I don't support the NRA, but don't support the current gun control efforts, because I believe that sooner or later, people who do support the Constitution will have to take up arms against those in the government who has ignored the Constitution.

    These actions by the CBP are a disgrace. Enforce immigration at the border. Build a wall, fly drones at the border, whatever. What is happening to citizens here is a disgrace.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      The bull did not start under Obama as it well established by 1840 when Texas was an independent country and California ceased being a part of Mexico. Border raids in both direction continued well into the 20th century. Poncho Villa raids being a notable example of ones into the US while the US Army and Black Jack Pierson, Texas Rangers and Arizona Rangers southern raids being example of ones into Mexico.

      The US / Mexico border has never been anything less than contested. Oh the border is marked and it doesn't move. It is just the people act like the Hatfields and McCoys.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bluegrass Geek (profile), 2 Mar 2018 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      I don't support the NRA, but don't support the current gun control efforts, because I believe that sooner or later, people who do support the Constitution will have to take up arms against those in the government who has ignored the Constitution.

      You do realize that an AR will not do you much good against an Abrams or a guided missile, right? At best, you can make yourself a nuisance as a guerrilla fighter until they figure out who you are, then wipe you off the map.

      The idea that there will be some massive uprising of citizens who can fight back the modern military is asinine. The only way it works is if the military branches themselves turn against the government, and that's a coup, not a citizen revolt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re:

        A few points.

        Who do you think makes up the military? Who do you think drives those Abrams? Mostly white people from flyover country. Quite a few of them would agree with me.

        Also, do you think if the Jews in Germany had answered the door when the SS Soldiers had arrived to take them off to the camps and pumped a few rounds into the solders, think maybe something might have changed?

        You don't have to win the war, just cause enough problems.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wait ... the military is comprised of mostly white people from fly over states?

          wtf is wrong with you?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Qwertygiy, 2 Mar 2018 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your WWII comparison isn't quite valid.

          By the time the death camps were started, Jews had been stripped not only of the right to own weaponry, but the right to own property, the right to get married, the right to be employed.

          They were not German citizens anymore, in the eyes of the Reich.

          Those that did resist (and there were many) did not change anything. Their gunshots were answered with many more in return, not just in their direction but to anyone associated with them. Parents, children, cousins, friends.

          Even in France and Norway, a powerful citizen resistance did little to actually keep the Germans out or make them back down. All it did was help the Allied army get footholds into them.

          And on your point of the military... California, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington State, South Carolina, New York, and Colorado provide over half of all military recruits, so your "flyover country" statement is untrue.

          In fact, if you refer strictly to the Army by your mention of tanks, recruits from Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Washington State, and Virginia alone make up over half the active Army.

          40% of military recruits are racial or ethnic minorities, so your "white" statement is untrue.

          While I definitely do entertain doubts that much of the army would follow any orders to attack US civilians, please make sure you know what you're talking about before you try to argue a topic.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Colonel Panik, 2 Mar 2018 @ 8:05am

    Your papers, Comrad

    I live south of I-10, doing anything in our daily life will
    involve the Border Patrol.

    Going to school in the 50's and 60's we were taught that the
    countries that had border controls were the bad guys, America was great because we could do what ever we wanted when ever we wanted. Guess that did not work?

    How would you like it if the BP clowns got in your face while you are in line at Subway, Wal-Mart,or the DMV? The state of New Mexico allows medical marijuana but if you are holding when you go through the BP check point you are going to lose your meds.

    We have lived in nine different countries and never saw this kind of treatment of the citizens, not even when we lived in China! How do you spell shit hole country?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 9:00am

    I drive into Mexico from AZ to vacation in Puerto Penasco and you will see BP checkpoints 30+ minutes past the border North. It's not about illegal aliens it's about searching US citizens without a warrant so they can make more small time drug busts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2018 @ 4:57pm

    Much of the problem is due to the government's prohibition of racial profiling, so border agents are unable to wave through people that they can immediately tell on sight are obviously not from Latin America (and even for those who look the part, the ability to speak unaccented English should be an indication that they're probably not fresh "wetbacks")

    But in the interest of equal rights and non-discrimination, everyone is required to be stopped and run through the same grinder regardless, even when agents can immediately tell there's practically zero chance that a person is an illegal alien. (assuming that the border agents are not actually looking for drug/weapon/contraband possession, but that's another can of worms)

    Local police tend to be much less intrusive (at least in my personal experience) when manning checkpoints leading into and out of Mexican-heavy neighborhoods, such as only asking to see a driver's license, or in some cases letting you through quickly after just seeing you and having a few words, similar to sobriety checkpoints.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2018 @ 4:15pm

      Re:

      "can immediately tell on sight are obviously not from Latin America "

      Really? Like no one from Latin America ever appears to be white? Is that it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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