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Two thirds of Americans in Constitution free zones.

vhx

Golden Member
Jul 19, 2006
1,151
0
0
http://www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/37306prs20081022.html
Expanding Border Powers Creating ?Constitution-Free Zone? That Covers Two-Thirds of

WASHINGTON ? The extraordinary powers of customs and border agents to invade the privacy of individuals at the U.S. border are spreading inland and creating what amounts to a ?Constitution-free Zone? that covers fully two-thirds of the American population, the American Civil Liberties Union said today in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

?The authorities can do things at the border that they could never do to citizens and residents inside our country under the Constitution,? said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. ?Yet the government is asserting that some of these powers extend as far as 100 miles inside the actual border. It is a classic example of law enforcement powers expanding far beyond their proper boundaries ? in this case, literally.?

At the press conference, the ACLU released a map showing the 100-mile ?border region? claimed by the government, and cities and states that fall within it. The map, which was created using the latest census data, shows that fully two-thirds of the U.S. population, including 9 of the nation?s top 10 largest metro areas, is within the border zone.

?Americans and Washington policymakers may believe that this is a problem confined to the dusty sands of Arizona or Texas, or the San Diego-Tijuana border, but it stretches far inland across the United States,? said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU?s Technology and Liberty Program. ?If allowed to stand, sooner or later a factory worker in southern New Hampshire, a farmer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, or Joe the plumber outside Toledo, Ohio will find themselves trapped in a Constitution-free Zone.?

Also appearing at the press conference were two individuals who spoke about their personal experience with these overextended powers: San Diego music professor Craig Johnson, and Vince Peppard, a San Diego retiree who with his wife was stopped by the authorities on a road east of San Diego, at least 15 miles from the U.S. border. Peppard and his wife proved they were U.S. citizens but still found themselves subject to demands that they allow a search, interrogated, threatened and harassed.

?Now I?m actually feeling nervous when I?m going to work. . . that I might get pulled over by Border Patrol and asked, ?where?s your passport??? said Peppard, who appeared at the event via videotape. ?And now ? do I have to carry my passport with me when I go to Home Depot or something??

?In the United States, citizens are not supposed to need an internal passport,? said Steinhardt. ?This is our country and we are free to go where we please, without being stopped and interrogated by the authorities, as long as we are not behaving illegally or in a way that is clearly suspicious.?

?Police action is not the only way to fight for freedom,? said Fredrickson. ?This is a classic case where Americans need to push back against their government to preserve the core freedoms that we have always enjoyed.?

An interactive version of the ?Constitution-free Zone? map, a video of Vince Peppard, and other materials are available at:
www.aclu.org/constitutionfreezone
I knew that customs powers were getting way out of control, but this is the first time I've heard of that power extended 100 miles past the border, WTF? Business as usual these days I suppose.
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
2,502
0
76
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
HAHA its the ACLU! The most anti-American establishment known to man!
You can say that but the aclu also stands up for all kinds of minority right which the majority (which can include you and I) may not agree with and would probably get trampled.

On this issue I agree with the aclu on the 100 mile security zone. That zone should be at the border not 100 miles inland. That is police territory.

 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,711
6
76
Originally posted by: GroundedSailor
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
HAHA its the ACLU! The most anti-American establishment known to man!
You can say that but the aclu also stands up for all kinds of minority right which the majority (which can include you and I) may not agree with and would probably get trampled.

On this issue I agree with the aclu on the 100 mile security zone. That zone should be at the border not 100 miles inland. That is police territory.
That was my horrible attempt at sarcasm. :(
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,102
15,329
136
Welcome to my world. Maybe folks will start thinking about what happens when they shriek "Secure our borders, save us from them brown people!" The border war is a massive war on civil liberties featuring poorly trained federal para-military police harassing citizens at will. Got my car searched this year by a BP agent who said he had been watching me take a hike. WTF? If he had been watching me, he knew I wasn't picking up drugs/immigrants so the search was either a pure fishing expedition or simple harassment.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
126
I think someone has a screw loose at that site. One of the things learned because of Katrina is that the government response was suboptimal. In a truly catastrophic situation, civilian authorities are completely overwhelmed. So who can move lots of people and things in a hurry? The military.

So the military gets the nod in such situations then this guy goes off because of it. Then someone will cry "The Government, it does nothing".

For heavens sake, take a point to whine about and stick with it.

Now as far as the 100 mile mark or whatever, just try to imagine the Border Patrol stopping Manhattan stopping people at random. That would last, oh say, one day.

If someone starts doing this while you're driving down I-95 I suggest you turn on the radio, because chances are some city just got nuked
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
There is actually a "border checkpoint" about 75-100 miles inside of Texas on US-77.

We were coming back from a weekend in South Padre and my wife and I were like...."WTF mate? Shouldn't you be a little further south if you are protecting the border?"
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
126
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
There is actually a "border checkpoint" about 75-100 miles inside of Texas on US-77.

We were coming back from a weekend in South Padre and my wife and I were like...."WTF mate? Shouldn't you be a little further south if you are protecting the border?"
What (specifically) did they ask you to do? Did they ask for a passport?
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
Originally posted by: Hayabusa Rider
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
There is actually a "border checkpoint" about 75-100 miles inside of Texas on US-77.

We were coming back from a weekend in South Padre and my wife and I were like...."WTF mate? Shouldn't you be a little further south if you are protecting the border?"
What (specifically) did they ask you to do? Did they ask for a passport?
Because of my and my family's physical appearance, they asked if we were US residents and let us go on our way.

There were others that weren't as blonde/blue as us that were pulled to the side and their cars were being searched.

Also, I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea....this wasn't some random stop. There is an actual, erected border patrol station there and you cannot go further north on this road without stopping and speaking to an officer. Think of a toll booth not some random DUI checkpoint.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
1
61
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
There were others that weren't as blonde/blue as us that were pulled to the side and their cars were being searched.
Wow, that's just wrong.

Also, I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea....this wasn't some random stop. There is an actual, erected border patrol station there and you cannot go further north on this road without stopping and speaking to an officer. Think of a toll booth not some random DUI checkpoint.
You mean like the one in the video linked to above by hellod9?
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
Because of my and my family's physical appearance, they asked if we were US residents and let us go on our way.

That is quite terrible. May I ask why you are certain that appearance was their reason for asking that question?
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
Originally posted by: bamacre
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
There were others that weren't as blonde/blue as us that were pulled to the side and their cars were being searched.
Wow, that's just wrong.

Also, I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea....this wasn't some random stop. There is an actual, erected border patrol station there and you cannot go further north on this road without stopping and speaking to an officer. Think of a toll booth not some random DUI checkpoint.
You mean like the one in the video linked to above by hellod9?
No. It was more like this toll booth constructed across the road completely disallowing passage without going through it.
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,708
9
81
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
Because of my and my family's physical appearance, they asked if we were US residents and let us go on our way.

That is quite terrible. May I ask why you are certain that appearance was their reason for asking that question?
Read the next sentence...
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
Because of my and my family's physical appearance, they asked if we were US residents and let us go on our way.

That is quite terrible. May I ask why you are certain that appearance was their reason for asking that question?
Because every single car that I could see that was stopped and being searched (about 5 of them) or the drivers asked to step out of the car were Hispanic/Latin American in appearance.
 

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