ACLU Calls Interior Border Patrol Checkpoints “Pointless”, “Cruel”
If you live in El Paso, Las Cruces, or any other place close to the border with Mexico, you probably know that we have to deal with Border Patrol checkpoints.
Not ON the border, but usually within 30 to 80 miles into the interior of the United States.
I’m not a human or drug smuggler so I’ve never thought of it as more than a very minor inconvenience. Except for the two times I ended up being the subject of an “enhanced search” which basically added an extra hour and a half to my twelve-hour drive to my destination. It’s a peculiarity of living near the border.
But, I wonder sometimes, how would residents of Dallas or Kansas City feel if, every time they wanted to get out of town, they had to go through a security checkpoint? I don’t think it would sit well, even with conservatives. Maybe, ESPECIALLY with conservatives.
Now, the ACLU is calling these interior Border Patrol checkpoints a “cruel and pointless burden” on border residents.
This has been the ACLU’s position for many years. In this opinion column linked above, Nia Rucker with the ACLU office in Las Cruces makes the following case: a person in Las Cruces could LEGALLY purchase marijuana, drive to Alamogordo (where marijuana is ALSO legal, but they COULD be stopped in between the two New Mexico cities at the BP checkpoint near White Sands.
“borderland residents…risk, at best, deeply traumatizing and humiliating searches and the confiscation of their cannabis”
Could they even arrest you for having legally obtained marijuana? CPB has reiterated their commitment to enforcing federal drug law so, yes, it’s conceivable you could get popped for having legal weed that you purchased legally inside a state where weed is legal.
In the 2016 election cycle two notable politicians, Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions made it a MAJOR policy position that they would AGGRESSIVELY go after marijuana users even in states that had made the substance legal. It’s NOT a moot issue just because more and more states have legalized it. A future administration could absolutely go all Handmaid’s Tale on pot smokers.
The real point is that people in other states don’t have to worry about checkpoints because they don’t have them. We’re expected to just accept it but if CBP put a checkpoint between Tulsa and Oklahoma or between Denver and Colorado Springs, they would raise holy hell over it…and rightfully so.