Saturday, October 25, 2008


Border Patrol invading US transportation system

by Larry Geller

I wrote earlier that US Border Patrol is stopping and harassing people within a 100-mile wide strip extending inland from the “external boundary” of the United States, a boundary that would include all of Hawaii, for example (see: US Constitution suspended in Hawaii, according to ACLU, 10/23/2008).

Thanks to anonymous, who commented on that article:

I just heard about this from a friend. This is happening right now in Washington State. Border agents are going on buses asking for I.D. from average citizens inside of their own country. Shameful. GO ACLU!

I decided to google further. These two USA Today articles came right up:

Border Patrol expands transportation checks, 10/1/2008

Border Patrol agents are stepping up surprise inspections on domestic trains, buses and ferries, nabbing illegal immigrants far from the border.

In Vermont, Washington, Louisiana, New York and elsewhere, the agents, who have the authority to search any mode of transportation within 100 miles of the border, are working routes that don't cross into Canada or Mexico. Most checks are at bus and train stations and ferry terminals.

Some travelers criticize Border Patrol inspection methods, 10/2/2008.

Torres-Saillant often takes the bus to New York City. In the three times he has been questioned at the station before that trip, he says, he was singled out. "We have lost some civil liberties," he says.

Jessica Maxwell, 32, was on a bus from Syracuse to Utica over the July 4 holiday. She says three Border Patrol agents boarded after the passengers. They approached and questioned only an Asian man until she asked why, she says. One of the agents then inquired about her legal status, she says. "It seemed like a very loose, arbitrary procedure," the Syracuse resident says. "They're stereotyping."

This is very real, and should be very frightening. There’s more—students here on legit visas being questioned and detained.


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