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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    7,009
    The case you cite seems at first to support your position, but further into their analysis they actualy undermine your argument. I don't like the court's reasoning because I think it represents a 'slipperly slope' position. Further into the opinion, the court adopts the rule that an immigration stop doesn't necessarily need to be limited to checking for citizenship; it must be limited to a time period that would be reasonable for checking citizenship. So long as the time doesn't run past what would normally be necessary for checking citizenship, they can ask any questions they want. I dislike this because there are no significant guidelines for determining what amounts to a "reasonable" time period. And if they have a lawful basis for retaining you and asking you questions during that "reasonable" time, then they can also use that time and those questions to help form probable cause for a further search.

    In short, the court pays lip service to the idea that detention must be limited to a determination of citizenship. They then undermine their own stated goal by providing a rule that allows BP agents to go far afield of a citizenship check, so long as they come in under a "reasonable" time. This rule is enough to prevent them from disassembling your car, but it gives them support for the continued detention for the dog sniff--again, so long as they come in under time. It is a pretty strange opinion and I think it suffered from a lack of thought on the part of the judge who drafted it.

    Dogs. Just a side note: strange as it may sound, a dog sniff is not even considered a search by SCOTUS. Neither BP nor the police need probable cause to run a dog over you, your car or your bag. They do need a justification for detaining you while they run the dog, but here they clearly had justification for the initial detention.

    Consent. I always marvel at the number of people who are actively engaged in smuggling narcotics who give consent to be searched. I just wonder what they are thinking. "Maybe the trained customs officer who is specifically looking for drugs won't recognize my shrink-wrapped package of narcotics as what it is." I certainly hope that none of us here need to worry about smuggling drugs, but the issue of consent searches comes up regarding other items as well. Never consent to be searched. Period.
    Virtute et Armis

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,382
    I have no problem with the BP asking questions as long as my polite refusal to answer, once stating US citizenship, doesn’t equal probably cause or reasonable suspicion.

    In your comment on dogs, you said they had justification for the initial detention. I assume you mean the initial stop at the checkpoint, not the forced journey to secondary?

    I wouldn’t have batted an eye if they had run a dog around my vehicle when we first pulled up to the checkpoint, it’s the forced journey to secondary and then the dog sniff that got me steamed.
    I believe it is my duty to protect the innocent, care for the weak, and leave the lazy to their own pathetic demise.

    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” —Aldous Huxley

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Where the deer and antelope roam
    Posts
    1,321
    OB-1, I have been with the BP for 19 years. I am not trying to bash you at all. The Agent at the checkpoint could have been being an ass, maybe he was just a new agent, we have lots of those. Authority at BP checkpoints is well established with case law to support it. The 5th circuit is our best buddie compared to the 9th circuit.

    Your refusal to answer questions, no matter how polite is still a refusal and will be articulated as being un-cooperative. He just has a job to do, those questions have a reason, you may not see the reason, but that does not make it any less important. I am privy to all sorts of information, that agent may only get an order that says "Check every white Ford closely".

    Contrary to popular belief, Border Patrol Agents can enforce and make arrests for violations of any federal law, not just immigration. In most states we work in, we are afforded Peace Officer status by the state, which means we can arrest for violations of state law as well. Being that you are a US citizen does not mean the BP has no authority to act.
    A bedtime story:

    I was down at the Mosque going through a few magazines.
    I was having a good time.
    Then, my rifle jammed.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,382
    I didn’t mean to imply that BP had no, or even limited, authority outside immigration checks. In this case, the primary purpose of the checkpoint is immigration. That is why we, the public, have to stop. If, in the course carrying out their primary duty, “reason for the checkpoint,” the officer develops reasonable suspicion or probable cause of any crime they are free to pursue that avenue.

    If I had refused to answer citizenship questions, which, by the way, were never asked, the officer had every legal right to further detain me. Rather than play 20 questions with the officer, I stated our citizenship and that we had not been to the border, and requested to be allowed to continue our journey. Our detention should have ended at that point according the previously reference court decision.

    A BP checkpoint that isn’t at a Port of Entry cannot operate under the same rules as a Port of Entry because it isn’t a Port of Entry. This is an important distinction. At a Port of Entry we are obligated to answer virtually all the officer’s questions and he needs no cause or suspicion to search. BP checkpoints that aren’t at a Port of Entry are certainly legal; however, their permissible scope of operations is significantly narrowed from that of a Port of Entry.
    I believe it is my duty to protect the innocent, care for the weak, and leave the lazy to their own pathetic demise.

    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” —Aldous Huxley

  5. #105
    Prairie Fire Guest
    Found this while looking for something else. It's from three years ago.

    Moral of the story: Always carry a M*********ing gun, and always carry ammo, even in NPEs. In this story, a gun might have helped the survivor of the Third Reich and European Commie -ism, to be a better man as he was living out the remainder of his life in commie Minnesota.

    Thanks due to Gabe for the basic moral of the story.

  6. #106
    I find it incomprehensible that a man that escaped communism to live in this country would not exercise his right to a firearm. Also, never, ever go out into the bush unarmed. I always take a sidearm and 18 inch pump shotgun when camping with the family. As Gabe said, it was the grace of God this family did not get hurt.

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