Hundred Mile Wide Borders

May 25, 2011

Our hundred mile wide borders are a constitution free zone. At least according to the ACLU. I recently re-read their 2008  Fact Sheet on what it describes as the U.S. “Constitution Free Zone.”

The United States government defines our border as  “within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States or any shorter distance..”  according to this statute, which was amended to include this distance after the 9/11 terror attacks. The purpose of the statute was to ensure the security of United States borders. However, the government has been expanding its searches to include U.S. citizens not seeking to cross the border with the blessings of the Supreme Court.  In 1975, The U.S. Supreme Court held that Border Patrol agents at checkpoints have legal authority that agents do not have when patrolling areas away from the border. Border Patrol agents may stop a vehicle at fixed checkpoints for brief questioning of its occupants even if there is no reason to believe that the particular vehicle contains illegal aliens.  The Court relaxed (revoked?) the Fourth Amendment when dealing with these fixed checkpoints.

While it is unclear how much these checkpoints are succeeding in protecting our borders, they sure have been resulting in some large pot seizures from U.S. citizens, who may have mistakenly believed they were protected by the U.S. Constitution. Granted, some searches and seizures are more invasive than others, but each U.S. citizen should have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Some citizens have decided not to meekly accept what they perceive as a violation of their constitutional rights.  I thoroughly enjoyed the following video. Clear some time in your schedule, though, since it goes on for a while.


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