Suspicionless searches at US border: the next battleground for press freedom


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Suspicion of dissent is not the same as suspicionless.

It’s even worse if you’re not a citizen. I’m a legal US resident. I’m afraid to leave the States as last time I did CBP interrogated me for four hours and wanted to hold me in detention (aka jail) for the long weekend (I was traveling on the Friday before a Monday holiday) in Puerto Rico as they wanted a judge to decide if I should be allowed back into the country or not. Thankfully someone in there had a clue as I was ultimately allowed to enter the country on a 30 day pass and had my admission determined by a judge in the States. I was released with a piece of paper for ID and that’s it. They seized my passport and my US drivers license and my US SSN card. While I got it all back 30 days later and I had to literally duck CBP/police at my transfer in LAX (I spent an hour hiding out in the loo) as my traveling companion heard them talking about picking me up for traveling without my passport. I’d done nothing, I’ve still done nothing. I’ve lived here for 35 years but I fear I may not get back into the country if I leave again. Worse still, I’m not sure if I want to stay…


Who do you turn to when the bastion of democracy abandons it?


The same stuff happens to people who aren’t in the press too, only they don’t have a media platform to discuss it.



In a way, [journalists] are lucky because they are journalists who can tell their story to a large audience to get the word out. As On The Media documents, this happens to “countless” people in the US, their stories receive no attention, and the have no recourse.


We must shutdown these agencies. They can not exist any longer. They have become a threat to the republic. Defund them, fire them, and tag them. We can not allow these people to enter civil society unwatched.

Takedown these institution brick by brick. Elections are coming up soon. Time to put honest citizens in office instead of these scumbags that currently exist in office.

PS. They don’t need their retirement benefits either. We can take them too.


It gets worse. For the purposes of search and seizure the government extends “the border” 100 miles inwards.
([From the Wiki][1])
^ § 287 (a) (3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 233, 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a)(3) , which simply provides for warrantless searches of automobiles and other conveyances “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States,” as authorized by regulations to be promulgated by the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s regulation, 8 CFR § 287.1, defines “reasonable distance” as “within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States.”

[The ACLU has more][2]

Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This " Constitution-Free Zone" includes most of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

with examples.


I guess that’s why they call it “Suspicion of …”

This happened to me.

It also lead to two FBI visits. I’m not a journalist, I’m an activist in the climate movement who for some unknown reason was selected for government harassment. #stillangry

edit: punctuation.


I don’t know your situation, but it might be worth seeking the advice of a lawyer… or a llama. Take your pick.


An agency with largely unaccountable and arbitrary power over individuals, operating with near-zero transparency. An agency operating with even fewer legal checks and balances than our already notoriously power-drunk street cops. What could possibly go wrong?

If there was ever a poster-child for a police agency in dire need of a truly independent and aggressive oversight body, it’s CBP. Because right now, they’re successfully sweeping a whole bunch of cultural pathology and institutionalized malfeasance under the rug, and no one is able to call them on it.

[And yes, the way CBP treated Peter Watts still infuriates me]


Not for nothing and for what it is worth, but in the article, the author seems to switch between (and maybe the person that flagged it for BB did it) as CBP being Customs and Border Patrol OR Customs and Border Protection. The latter is the correct abbreviation. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officers are mostly the old (before 9/11) Customs Officers, Immigration Inspectors and other assorted members of closely related agencies.

They work at POE’s and other entry points into the USA (mostly). Border Patrol works AWAY from the POEs and actually patrols the physical border and near it.

Border Patrol is a separate part and usually does not operate with as much direction as the usual CBP people that work at all ports of entry (POE’s). Border Patrol used to be part of the I&NS, Immigration and Naturalization Service.

I know most people reading this hate law enforcement, but let us be clear as to who exactly we are talking about here anyhow. Facts is facts.

I think most folks here are big fans of “law enforcement”. However, they might tend to define “law enforcement” as a process for equitably protecting the rights of all, rather than its more recent American usage as a gang name.

Wanting to see laws enforced is not incompatible with fighting against abuse of authority. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


That’s the damn shame, the US government is squandering away what’s left of our example to other nations that we criticize for civil rights abuses. I used to joke that corporatists wanted the USA to become China. It’s not so funny anymore.


And the USA is different from the countries we hate in what way?


They’re all under the auspice of DHS. You’re needlessly splitting unaccountable hairs.


Because !FREEDOM!


Keeping in mind of course that Glenn Greenwald has never met a fascist, a dictator, a Nazi or an Islamic tyrant he couldn’t love.

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