Drug War/Immigration Law Used To Legitimize Nazi Checkpoints: “Are Your Papers In Order?”

Reason Magazine has published a long article about checkpoints.

Conservatives might be tempted to favor checkpoints in order to find and deport illegal immigrants. But that is nonsense. There would be lots of ways to find and deport illegal immigrants if the government didn’t actually work against the enforcement of the laws. For example, I have a high school son who I have enrolled for some dual enrollment/dual credit at St. Louis Community College. This is extremely expensive for my budget, but so far we have been able to enforce it.

Yet the college is not only cooperating with the enrollment of illegal immigrants in classes, it gives them half off of tuition. Poor natives can give up on college or just suck it up and subsidize others.

This makes me really angry.

But it is pure manipulation virtually the only way the government favors enforcing immigration laws is by spitting on the Fourth Amendment and setting up roadblocks on highways within a hundred miles of the border. This is not an accident. The Liberal Ruling Class sees a way to weaken Constitutional protections without provoking full conservative resistance and they are taking it. We know they are already pushing other ways to get American’s accustomed to warrantless checkpoints.

And they seem to be using the drug war to evade the unconstitutionality of what they are doing.

As I pulled into the checkpoint and refused to acknowledge my citizenship, a drug dog was led around my car. After the agent declared that the dog alerted to my vehicle, I relented and pulled into the secondary inspection area. I recorded the entire encounter with my phone. The agents led the dog throughout my car for several minutes until the search ended with no contraband discovered.

I doubted that the canine truly alerted to my vehicle so I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, seeking all video footage captured during the time and location of my seizure for evidence that the dog detected something in my vehicle. The CBP website clearly states that a dog will “alert” by sitting next to the point of interest. I wanted proof that the dog sat.

Several weeks later I received a letter from the FOIA division officer requesting clarification. After I responded with clarifications, several weeks later they sent me another letter indicating there was no video footage because the CBP deletes video after 30 days.

The numbers indicate that this anecdote is representative of an ongoing strategy:

Federal and local law enforcement agencies have become skilled at circumventing these legal strictures through the seeming manufacture of probable cause. A Government Accountability Office study published in 2009 shows there were 3,540 drug-related seizures at southwestern checkpoints in 2008. That same year, southwestern checkpoints saw 16,959 apprehensions of illegal aliens. A key method is through canine sniffing. Internal checkpoints, particularly permanent installations, typically employ drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs that patrol nearly every vehicle passing through. By using canines, the CBP is pushing the line between stops for immigration purposes and “ordinary criminal wrongdoing.” The immigration portion of the stop becomes a mere pretext to establish a probable cause for searching the car or driver.

Being stopped and asked to prove that you are legitimate is an offense to the Constitution and everything America stands for. Conservatives need to stand against this abuse of immigration law as well as “the war” on drugs.