Saturday, February 9, 2013

I did not know that I grew up on the US Border

The "border" seems to be a little bigger than I thought:
Government agents should not have the right to stop and question Americans anywhere without suspicion within 100 miles of the border, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday, pointing attention to the little known power of the federal government to set up immigration checkpoints far from the nation’s border lines.
I grew up in the state of Maine.  There is no part of the state that is more than 100 miles either from Canada or from the sea.  Since people can come into the country by ship, literally every square inch of the state is excepted from the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of being secure in your person, effects, and home.  I'm sure that some Fed.Gov legal wiz is figuring out how they can justify not getting a warrant to enter your home because "it's on the border" - even where I grew up which is not on the ocean and is a 5 hour drive to Canada.

This no doubt will ease citizens' concerns about the growth of tyrannical government.  Oh, wait:
At the outset of President Obama's second term, he sits atop a government that a majority of Americans - 53 percent - view as a threat to personal rights and freedoms, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The American public is actually pretty sensible.  I have a suggestion, if the Fed.Gov wants to not be perceived as being a threat to people's personal rights and freedoms: stop being a threat to people's personal rights and freedoms.

You're welcome.


WoFat said...

The police can ask you questions anytime or any place. But you don't have to answer.

Glenn B said...

The government has never (at least prior to the current administration) tried to get the power to search anyone's home, without a warrant (unless under exigent circumstances) based on the fact that the government can legally set up check points and stop people for immigration stops far from the border for Immigration purposes. That the ACLU is raising this issue now seems preposterous because that authority has been upheld by the SCOTUS previously.

In addition the government can enter onto private lands (not into homes) within 25 miles of the border for the purpose of patrolling the border. So, Border Patrol Agents often enter onto farmlands and ranches while performing their duties and do so without warrants.

These authorities have been the norm since long before I was in the Border Patrol back between 79 and 83 and as far as I am aware have always been upheld by the courts when challenged.

Immigration and Customs authorities, related to the border, go far beyond the scope of what would be expected if police wanted to search your home. That is because a country has the right to protect its borders and control what comes across them. So, as is often the case, checkpoints and such are et upo at functional equivalents of the border, and/or stops and searches are conducted because someone had nexus with the border and so on.

All the best,
Glenn B

SUERTE said...

Borepatch, they quite often stop me coming and going from my ranch that is 3 miles from the Rio Grande in Texas. It is my humble opinion, that they can use their own judgement to tell if I'm a citizen, and I always make it a point to ask them if I'm being detained, and if they answer no, I just drive off and let them ponder that. I'm not their biggest fan.

kx59 said...

If push comes to shove, I suspect that number is going to skyrocket.
Most folks try to keep their head down and live below the radar.

Old NFO said...

Yep, staying under the radar here too...

Old NFO said...

Yep, staying under the radar here too...

Goober said...

What WoFat said. They can pretty much find an excuse to stop and ask you questions no matter where you are. Whether you answer them or tell the cop to mind his own damned business is up to you.

My buddy found himself being queried by a border cop one time outside of Oroville. He was hunting birds about 3 miles this side of the border. He was carrying a shotgun, wearing orange, and had his hunting dog with him. As he tells it, the border patrolman pulled up and asked him what he was doing. He just looked at the patrolman, looked down at his bright orange hunting vest, looked back up at him with a look on his face that had to be displaying what he was really thinking, which was:

"REALLY? You want to know what I'm doing? REALLY?"

He didn't even say a word. The Border cop drove off. My guess is that he was a little embarassed. Having an off day.