Saturday, March 25, 2006

Border patrol moving the goalposts

I've been meaning to get to this one. The Border Patrol is planning to put 2 permanent checkpoints at up to 75 miles inside our border with Canada. These have already been functioning on a temporary basis for the last two years since the DHS raised the terror alert to orange, right before the elections. This bothers me for a couple of reasons.

They have legal authorization to have checkpoints up to 100 miles inside but I would think it was meant to be used for dragnets, for specific targets. For this administration to set up permanent stations is just one more encroachment on our freedom of movement. It feels like one step closer to a national police force and a dangerous precedent to give to an administration known for its security excesses. Not to mention, the checkpoints have nothing to do with terrorism.
...the stops, in their more than two years of operation, have resulted in the arrests of more than 1,300 illegal aliens and the seizure of more than $478,000 in U.S. currency and about 2,000 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $11 million.
This just another forfeiture sting and a sweet one. People crossing borders carry more cash because they're likely to be visiting or shopping. They get them on any drug violation, no matter how petty and they get to seize their property. And of course there's the safety factor. Four people have already died at the Hudson NY checkpoint when a tractor trailer plowed into their car. As I recall at the time the driver said he wasn't expecting a checkpoint there. No reason to. It's in a rural part of the state and relatively lightly traveled.

As for the illegal aliens, I'm not aware of an influx of Canadian illegals. I think it likely they were mostly cross border people who had family on both sides and crossed over without good paperwork to visit. Bet their money was seized as well. What a racket.


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