ACLU Sues Homeland Security for Records on Border Patrol Enforcement Inside U.S.

Categories: News
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Bill Morrow


The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona claims the Department of Homeland Security simply ignored requests for public records on Border Patrol activities that took place well within the U.S. border.

The ACLU previously has alleged that such patrols amount to harassment of southern Arizona residents. The organization has claimed that residents driving as far away as 60 miles from the southern border have been stopped by Border Patrol agents, without any indication that the driver was coming from the border or doing anything illegal.

See also:
-ACLU: Border Patrol Doing Questionable Patrols, Far From the Border

In January, an ACLU attorney and two attorneys from the University of Arizona law school filed the records requests, seeking information on these "roving patrols," including any documentation of policy, reports, organizational materials, records of any stops, and more.

ACLU officials say today that both requests were "completely ignored."

The federal lawsuit seeking the records notes that the New York Civil Liberties Union obtained information on similar patrols in that state through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The result of that request showed those patrols also took place far from the border, and about 1 percent of those stops resulted in immigration-related removal proceedings.

"The failure of DHS to produce the documents requested by Plaintiffs violates the FOIA and impedes Plaintiffs' efforts to educate the public on the many questions that remain regarding the full extent and impact of wide-ranging interior enforcement operations conducted by the largest law enforcement agency in the country.," the lawsuit states.

The ACLU's asking the court to order that DHS immediately process and release the records.

"We shouldn't have to go as far as filing a lawsuit to get these records," UA professor Derek Bambauer says in a statement. "This is public information about a matter of pressing public concern. We cannot allow DHS and Border Patrol to continue operating in our communities without being subject to public scrutiny."

The ACLU of Arizona has claimed that Border Patrol agents have interrogated pedestrians on the streets of Yuma and Tucson, and patients in Tucson-area hospitals.

In addition to the "roving patrols," the ACLU also filed a civil-rights complaint back in 2012, on behalf of 11 people who claimed various abuses at the actual ports of entry at the southern border. According to this lawsuit, the ACLU never received a substantive response to that complaint, leading them to believe, "DHS oversight agencies have not kept pace with Border Patrol's rapid growth and are ill-equipped to provide transparent and effective agency oversight and accountability for rights violations by agents."

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27 comments
armandocdll81
armandocdll81

The ACLU should drop the A from their moniker and replace it with a G for "Global."

JoeArpaioFan
JoeArpaioFan

The ACLU should stop their whining because FEDERAL AGENTS can stop and question people even 1000 miles or more from their homes if they wish. It's called a second layer of protection to secure our borders.

lisalisanoneya
lisalisanoneya

I definitely believe we should practice what we preach to other countries.

DNichols
DNichols

The U.S. on the surface claims to be a democracy with a Government "Of, by, and for the People."

Covertly we have become an out of control Police State no different than Communist Countries, with dirty Government Agencies doing any disgusting thing they want with total disregard to Liberty, Freedom, the U.S. Constitution, and they are desicrating the very graves of our Fallen Heroes that fought, and Died to protect us from this type of TYRANNY.

30,000 disguised Spying Drones with Thermal scanning high tech camera's are flying warrantlessly over our American Homes right now watching innocent Americans in the very so called "Privacy of our Homes!

These Government Spying drones besides wasting Trillions of our hard earned tax dollars, are disguised as Airliners, Fed Ex, little retro fighter planes, and private aircrafts because the Cowards in the programs know what they are doing is against our Constitutional rights!

Our Founding Fathers would have lined up every peeping, perverted Government Coward in these un-constitutional spying programs in our "Homeland" in front of a firing squad!

"Freedom can not protect itself".

The ACLU is week against this out of control Police State Government.

To: Liberty, and "Living Free."

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

What the hell are they doing at the I-10 border crossing from California into Arizona? What did that cost the taxpayers wherever they do that? Like "Welcome to Arizona". Who the hell wants to come to this God-forsaken state anyway? Tourist Bureaus and Chamber of Commerce -- you have a responsibility for "full disclosure" as to what we face coming into Arizona. We were stopped and asked if we were citizens. Our dog sat in the back seat growling. A dog that never growls.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

N.T. printed a story that Glendale and Tempe are the most dangerous suburbs in America guess what group is overrepresented in those suburbs

JoeArpaioFan
JoeArpaioFan

How outrageous! ACLU is not entitled to those records because enorcement of our border is not harassment regardless where. It's called enforcing the law!

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

?@ConcernedCitizenAZ  you were stopped? i am not doubting you, i just want to ask a few questions though. (this is not meant as a jab). what color is your skin? the reason i ask is because i used to make a Cali run twice a week and have never been stopped. "I" would have checked me out if i was making a Cali run at 4 in the morning (i had long hair, a long beard, was grungy and driving a pretty shabby truck with a trailer that had a tarp over it) I would go into Cali at anywhere from 2-3 am with an empty truck and come back an hour later with an overloaded trailer an hour later............................................did that trip numerous times and was never once given anything other than the wave through. it would have drawn my attention if i was on the border.............didnt seem to draw the slightest attention from anyone else though. nobody even walked near my truck. i dont know if i should be glad i never drew their scrutiny or angry because of it

maybe i never got checked because i am lily white, maybe i never got checked because it was too obvious...............i dont know if i will ever know either

(by the way this went as long as 5 months ago to just 2 weeks ago)

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

We felt intimidated by the show of force, that we are paying for. Is this Nazi Germany? 4-5 freight carriers were stopped at various points along the way, as well. Truly chilling.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

So is following a court order. Why aren't you crying about that?

DNichols
DNichols

@Tommy

Police, and all Government Agencies should abide by the U.S. Constitution.

Since the Thermal Spying Technpology, and the "Patriot Act" which actually overode the Constitution Police, Sheriffs, and nineteen Government Agencies are Warrantlessly Trashing ":We the Peoples" Rights.

This must end for America to once again be "The Land of the Free."

To see the Spy Drones look up Tommy?!

Go to ASU Polytechnic, Gateway Airport, or Falcon Field.

America is not a Communist Country where Law Enforcement abide by no Laws.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy   In the last 8 weeks. Full crews of police, paramilitary, border patrol, dogs, surveillance cameras, etc. Checkpoint stopping every vehicle after we went through the gate, entering into Arizona. 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay ?? really? the answer to your question sadly enough is..............A LOT OF THEM. the better question would be, "how many are guarding them interstate in a military fashion"? and again i would have to answer and answer sadly with the response "Arizona"

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy  I didn't mention, that approaching the gate between leaving CA and entering AZ, and past the gate, they had the numerous graduated speed signs posted, which made no sense, except to easily trap someone. 

I've never seen freight carriers speeding, so wondered why they were being stopped along the way entering Arizona.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

(a post manned by people who are supposed to be observant, and nobody can see something 50 feet away from them their entire shift)

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ  i have seen vehicles pulled over there, i am just saying that i found it strange that i was never checked. i am not going to deny that the way i was going through combined with the time and the way i was looking when i went through................."I" would have found myself worth checking at least once or twice out of all those trips............i am just curious as to why i was never given a second glance. 

by the way, have you ever noticed the glaringly obvious speed trap set up for trailers just 50 feet from the border crossing into California? there is a sign just as you cross into Cali that says if you are hauling a trailer of any sort, the speed limit for YOU is 55 not the 75 or 65 every one else can do. the only problem is that the sign has absolutely NO reflective material and is scuffed so you can NOT see it when crossing at night time and your headlights hit it. i find that to be very peculiar since its about 50 feet from the checkpoint and NOBODY working there has ever noticed that it doesnt light up or reflect when headlights hit it. if you are hauling a trailer you must enter in the far left lane, so when you pull out of that lane, your headlights just catch that sign to where it deadens it and makes it almost completely unreadable. you are supposed to be able to see and read that sign while navigating  a lane change from the far left lane to the far right lane where they want you to be driving in Cali. there are no other signs stating the new limit for trailers until much further away (like far enough away for you to get back up to 75) i knew the law on it beforehand, but not every one who enters Cali does

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