Customs and Border Patrol in Michigan is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court for proclaiming the entire state is a “border zone” where the Constitution of the United States no longer applies and anyone traveling anywhere within the state can be detained and searched at any time, for any reason, without a warrant.
Via Courthouse News:
In a complaint filed Wednesday in Detroit federal court, the ACLU of Michigan alleges the Department of Homeland Security and CBP violated the Freedom of Information Act with a late and insufficient response to a request for documents about Border Patrol enforcement operations in Michigan between fiscal years 2012 and 2014.
The ACLU and its co-plaintiffs – the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and University of Arizona professors and immigration experts Jeffrey Boyce and Elizabeth Oglesby – demand the immediate processing and release of agency records.
The complaint is centered on the CBP’s interpretation of a 100-mile zone regulation and how it is applied in Michigan.
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“In order for the public, policymakers and the courts to evaluate the proper scope of warrantless searches conducted by the CBP and to examine whether it is ‘reasonable’ for the CBP to define the entire state of Michigan as a border zone, it is critical that more information be made publicly available about CBP’s extensive but largely opaque interior enforcement operations in Michigan, and particularly about its interpretation and application of its authority within the ‘100 mile zone,’” the lawsuit states.
The law is so vaguely worded that it is rife for abuse, so border patrol in Michigan is milking a semantic argument for all it is worth to give themselves maximum power over the people with zero regard for how fascist that is. The federal law regarding the border zone, while obviously unconstitutional, is supposed to allow agents to conduct warrantless searches within a “reasonable distance” from a U.S. border in order to stop illegal immigrants, terrorists, terrorist weapons, and the illegal trafficking of people and contraband from entering the country; however, it has already come out time and again that the unconstitutional law gets abused all the time to detain and terrorize innocent Americans well past the border and even well past the 100-mile line, as CBP fully admits that only 40 percent of the U.S.-Mexico border is operationally protected and the agency only stops less than ten percent of illegal drugs that enter the country anyway (as Aaron Dykes explains in this old Truthstream video report).
In Michigan, the agency has now declared itself as a statewide gestapo, interpreting the entire state as a “reasonable distance” border zone where they can detain anyone, anywhere, at anytime without a warrant or even reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
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What this effectively means is that every American citizen in Michigan is having their right to unreasonable search and seizure as enshrined in the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights blatantly ignored.
Not only that, but Courthouse News points out that data does not even remotely justify this interpretation:
These trends show that 31 percent of people processed by the Border Patrol – almost one in three – are United States citizens, and over 63 percent of those apprehended had been stopped by other law enforcement agencies before their CBP encounters, according to the complaint.
Other statistics allegedly show that less than 2 percent of foreign citizens processed by the CBP have a known criminal record and just over 5 percent of foreign citizens processed arrived in the U.S. in the preceding 30 days.
On an aside, we traveled through Michigan on a road trip to Canada from Texas (I know, long drive) for the first time earlier this year.
Not only did we observe a predator drone patrolling the skies about highway 401 that runs through Canada just north of the US border (a sight which is blood curdling enough), but coming back through the border checkpoint from Canada into Michigan on the Blue Water International Bridge was one of the most horrifying experiences with border patrol or even law enforcement that I’ve ever had in my entire life.
We were on a filming trip for our upcoming movie, so we had camera equipment with us. While its well known these agents are trained to regard photography with suspicion, this particular agent acted like a tripod might be part of a nuclear weapon or something. After he located the suspected terrorist weapon, he asked us repeatedly what it was and what it was for. Our answers (“a tripod, for filming”) garnered more questions of why and what were we filming, and the fact that we were filming anything at all seemed to freak him out so much, he decided that was justification to dig through our entire car including every suitcase, souvenir postcard set, and bag of dirty laundry we had. As you can imagine after a two-week road trip, that means I had a grown man in a uniform digging through 14 days of my dirty underwear.
Worse, the entire time we were sitting there detained on the bridge between Canada and the US (besides asking us ignorant questions about filming equipment that made me wonder what his IQ test score was), he asked us blatantly stupid questions that were so ignorant, I would have been giggling in his face if I wasn’t too busy lamenting the fact that we live in a total police state with pretend freedom where a man this idiotic is given a costume along with the power to enslave his fellow citizens.
He didn’t just ask how we knew each other (even though we have the same last name on our passports, so it’s a high probability we are in some way related…) but….
We live in Texas. Our passports? Texas. Our license plate? Texas. After we told him we were headed home after our trip, he again asked us where we were headed (take a guess where that might be), like he was trying to trip us up (you know those suspicious photographers, they’re so untrustworthy). The more polite I tried to be answering his questions, the angrier he seemed to get for some inexplicable reason.
After he went through every item in our car and asked us numerous stupid questions, then got mad because he couldn’t figure out how to open one of our lens cases, he walked back around to the front of the car and decided to try and stump us with further questions. At that point I started to wonder if I had accidentally slipped into a game show on the set of the film Idiocracy, not sure if this guy was going to let us back into the country so we could go home or not (and, secondarily, whether or not I even wanted to go “home” to a country where innocent citizens are subjected to this kind of treatment for simply trying to go home).
Because this encounter had nowhere to go but dumber, he proceeded to ask us if we planned to stop anywhere along the way. The sarcastic part of my brain (which is pretty much all of it) went, “No sir, we plan to drive 21 straight hours without so much as a stop for gas or going to the bathroom because we’re magic, our car is a time machine, and it runs on unicorn kisses and fairy wishes!”
Then, as if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, he asked us if we planned to contact anyone while we are in the country.
We are US citizens with US passports. We already told him (because he asked) that we LIVE here and where. It’s a good bet we, ya know, have family and friends here we just miiiight want to see again sometime in the future considering we’re from here and our home with all of our worldly possessions is here.
This stupidity went on and on until he realized I had been filming the whole time (oops), at which point he got real mad and took away my camera and tried to delete my footage.
Problem is, he didn’t know how. What ensued was him repeatedly accidentally filming Aaron’s crotch (Aaron was in the driver’s seat) as he tried to figure out how the camera’s delete button worked. He couldn’t. Finally he gave me my camera back and forced me to delete my footage while he watched and double checked that it was gone.
After being there for what seemed like forever, and realizing that the border is interpreted as a Constitution-free zone, and knowing from past reporting how much worse things can get for innocent American citizens who dare to leave their country and attempt to come back in at the border during these kinds of “searches,” I obliged.
But I was pissed.
So pissed in fact, that I immediately downloaded a computer program that would recover my deleted footage, which I have since fully restored. See, because these goons claim the border is Constitution-free, that also means they’ve decided we have no First Amendment rights at the border either. They enforce a no phone, no filming policy at patrol checkpoints, lest your filming gives away the magical secret to how they conduct searches (see above).
I believe, however, that God gave us all rights that are unalienable, so I filmed. And I kept my film. I’m still debating whether or not to upload it, but it was admittedly humiliating and I’m not sure how much people really want to watch me get angry and cry about it afterward (which I also filmed).
It was actually a pretty terrifying experience and as I type this now, I can remember how it felt, being an innocent American whose privacy was invaded for no real reason, forced to delete my footage, and wondering if I would even get to go home or not where my children were waiting for me… All of it based on some maniacal idiot’s power trip and nothing more.
It dawned on me that this was why, on the way to the checkpoint, I saw other people who were obviously Americans pulled over on the side of the road cleaning out their cars and looking nervous as hell while doing it. It is to the point where people are afraid to come back into their own country here because of guys like that agent who can randomly deny them entry for whatever reason they feel like or no reason at all.
I got so angry, I wept as soon as we got off the bridge for how little freedom the supposed “land of the free” really has.
Wanna hear the punchline? Border patrol on the way into Canada was less invasive than a trip to the DMV. I think the lady asked us if we had any fruits or vegetables in the car, smiled at us, and waved us through in under two minutes.
My experience with Michigan border patrol was bad, but I know it could have been so much worse.
A 54-year-old New Mexico woman recently won a $1 million settlement because border patrol in El Paso selected her for a random search that turned into six hours of having her vagina and anus probed by a female agent’s fingers for drugs, being forced to squat with her pants and underwear pulled down in front of a drug sniffing dog while they peered at her private parts with a flashlight, then, still unsatisfied even though she was clean, she was forced into a hospital for further medical tests that involved being shackled to a bed, forced into stirrups, being forcibly searched vaginally again by a doctor with a gynecological speculum while agents watched, made to defecate in front of the agents, given an abdominal CT scan on top of it all and, in the end, GUESS WHAT?
THEY FOUND NOTHING! Not a single damn thing. Oh, and to literally add insult to injury, they sent her a bill for $5,000 worth of “medical services” after she refused to sign a paper under coercion that stated she consented to her own government raping!
According to reports, she was so traumatized by her experience just trying to go home that she had been unable to be physically intimate with her husband since the incident. One million dollars won’t buy her sanity back or undo that trauma.
Roving patrols like the ones border patrol is being sued for in Michigan have also occurred in Washington, Arizona, and Texas, well past the already blurry 100-mile line. In fact, the agency has insisted the 100-mile line doesn’t limit them in their duties.
In short, this agency doesn’t really care what the law or the Constitution says. The ACLU has filed similar lawsuits in both Washington and Arizona as well.
Meanwhile, waves of illegal immigrants continue to flood the country at our borders anyway, and our soldiers continue to protect poppy fields for the opium trade in Afghanistan in the fake war on terror, the product of which ends up coming here as illegal heroin anyway in the fake war on drugs, so the real point of it all seems just to be to condition a fear-based, unquestioning slave-to-authority mentality in the citizens of this country, many of whom just keep telling themselves if they’ve done nothing wrong they have nothing to worry about…
Something I can personally attest is simply not true.