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The Texas Observer @TexasObserver
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1/ In Checkpoint Nation, @MelissaLaLinea takes powerful look at what’s come to be known as the “border zone,” where @CBP has been given free reign to trample on constitutional rights in the name of security.… map of the border zone
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 2/ Nearly two-thirds of all Americans live within the zone, the area up to 100 miles from any U.S. boundary.

Here, authorities can set up checkpoints, search/detain people without a warrant and sometimes enter private land without permission.… the border zone touches 38 states and encompasses all of 10 states
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 3/ Being a U.S. citizen doesn’t protect you from harassment by immigration agents.

Even if you never leave the country, you can encounter @CBP agents — with powers far beyond those of other law enforcement agencies — deep into the interior of the U.S.… checkpoint
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 4/ U.S. citizen Laura Sandoval, for example, was randomly selected for a screening in El Paso in 2012. A six-hour nightmare ensued, concluding with a cavity search conducted without Sandoval's consent.

No drugs. No warrant.… laura sandoval
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 5/ CBP has a policy requiring that records be kept of all body cavity searches — or so they say.

But when @MelissaLaLinea filed a FOIA request for drug searches that did not result in an arrest, detention or deportation, the agency said it had nothing.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 6/ Latinos in particular are routinely stopped and searched, in what's known as the “Southwest stop-and-frisk.”

Over the past 10 years, activist groups have raised concerns that CBP is slowly creeping farther into the interior of the country — like Los Angeles and Houston. chris rickerd
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 7/ CBP operates with less oversight than your local police department despite having one of the largest federal budgets.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 8/ The wide-ranging power of border authorities goes back decades. In 1946, responding to Cold War paranoia, Congress gave border agents the “power without warrant to arrest any alien who in his presence or view is entering or attempting to enter the US.”… 1954 plane
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 9/ In the wake of 9/11, the ranks of @CBP surged to more than 44,000 — the largest law enforcement agency in the nation.

Today, the agency consists of more than 23,000 customs officers and nearly 20,000 agents.… CBP staffing
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 10/ Border agents often accompany police officers during routine traffic stops.

Since 2010, watchdog groups have counted 77 CBP-related fatalities — at least a fifth of them U.S. citizens.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 11/ In 2011, a Washington state man called 911 because his son, who had a history of mental illness, was smashing windows in their home.

When a local deputy and a Border Patrol agent arrived, the son stepped out of his house and was shot 13 times.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP 12/ Politicians are taking note of CBP’s culture of impunity.

@BetoORourke, an El Paso congressman challenging @TedCruz in #txsen, has proposed a bill that would roll back some of CBP’s power.

But it's languished in committee.… beto
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz 13/ The newest front in the legal battle over the border zone is located in Michigan.

CBP considers the Great Lakes a maritime border, which means all of Michigan lies within the zone. So, anyone can be subjected to a warrantless search at any time.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz 14/ The @ACLU began looking into CBP's practices in Michigan in 2015, but the agency refused to answer questions. The civil rights group is suing in court for access to CBP docs, including citizen complaints, incident reports and policy materials.… miriam aukerman
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz @ACLU 15/ The @ACLU’s @MiriamAukerman obtained hundreds of pages of apprehension logs. The data revealed a troubling pattern:

CBP is stopping American citizens and legal residents far from the border.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz @ACLU @MiriamAukerman 16/ Among the documents was a complexion code chart, which categorized skin color on a scale from “white to sallow to olive and black.”

The document raises real questions, she said, about what CBP is doing with racial data.…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz @ACLU @MiriamAukerman 17/ CBP settled a suit with Laura Sandoval in 2016. But Sandoval still hasn’t returned to Juárez.

“It’s not because I’m afraid to go to Mexico,” she said. “I’m afraid of coming back to my own country.”…
@MelissaLaLinea @CBP @BetoORourke @tedcruz @ACLU @MiriamAukerman 18/ Read or listen to @MelissalaLinea’s latest feature, “Checkpoint Nation.”…

Want to support, or simply read more of this type of investigative journalism?

Become a member for less than $3 a month to get the magazine and more:…
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