VID: Immigration Checkpoint Refusal Gone Wrong


"Detained for 19 Days: Immigration Checkpoint Refusal Gone Wrong," written and produced by Zach Weissmueller. About 10 minutes. Original release date was January 6, 2015 and original writeup is below.

You've probably seen them before: internal border checkpoint refusals, now a popular YouTube genre. Some are funny. Others are hostile. But for Greg Rosenberg, a naturalized U.S. citizen who speaks accented English, an encounter with South Texas border patrol resulted in weeks of jail time without a single charge being prosecuted.

Rosenberg immigrated to America 10 years ago from Armenia. Memories and family stories of Soviet rule in his country of origin infused him with strong political beliefs and a reverence for individual rights.

"Back then [in Soviet-controlled Armenia], if you complained about the government, they took you to Siberia," says Rosenberg.

So perhaps it's no surprise that Rosenberg is a checkpoint protester. As a long-haul trucker, he has to drive through these all the time. After all, there are about 170 of them scattered across the United States. And keep in mind, these checkpoints aren't on an actual border. They just have to be within 100 miles of one. The ACLU estimates that roughly two-thirds of the nation's population lives within this 100-mile zone.

Rosenberg's ordeal began in the border town of Laredo, TX. He and his friend pulled onto I-35 North at around midnight on September 26 in a truck carrying a load of Xerox machines destined for Ft. Worth. But only 29 miles north of the border, they'd encounter the Laredo North Border Patrol Station. And Greg would undergo a checkpoint interrogation like he'd never experienced before.

"They arrested me for what I looked like, but they pressed the charges because of my beliefs," says Rosenberg.

To see the full story of the encounter that led to Rosenberg's 19-day detainment on charges of "resisting, assaulting, or impeding arrest," watch the video above. Scroll down for downloadable versions. Approximately 9 minutes. Shot, produced, and edited by Zach Weissmueller.

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  1. “Two thirds of the nations population.” I don’t think so.

    1. Ok. Coastal border included. Is that an issue though?

      1. The point (noted below) is that the ‘border patrol’ arbitrarily imposes ‘constitution free zones’ wherever they go

        so, ‘in theory’ they could do this sort of shit anywhere.

        Its an issue in the southwest at least. Many people in that region have complained about it here.

        1. Grew up there, had to deal with border checkpoints all the time.

          This is the one I went through regularly.

    2. The claim makes more sense when they actually show you the map, which treats ‘coastlines’ as borders.

      Does that mean that there are border checkpoints on the beaches? No. The ACLU’s point would be that, according to the law they use to justify themselves, there *could be*

      Yes, its kind of a stupid fucking point. Sort of “bo-ish”. But unlike things Bo says, this is actually true.

      1. Nevertheless, the fact that legally the entirety of New England is under a no-4th Amendment Zone is still cause for a raised eyebrow or two.

        1. No shit. Plus all of Hawaii, all of Florida, virtually all of populated Alaska, all of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, much of New York, and most of populated Washington State. Plus heavy coverage of so many other states (look at Wisconsin, for instance).

          Thanks, Supreme Court! You truly are a bastion of liberty.

          1. Listen, as long as a suburban terror mom on the outskirts of Wichita feels safe, that’s all that matters.

          2. Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland…

            1. The entire state of Michigan…. which is not exactly a hub of smuggling due to its status as a peninsula within the great lakes.

              As for the supreme court’s definition of legal border checkpoints, I’m not sure why anywhere within 100 miles of an international airport isn’t also included in the exclusion zone. They should fall under the same rationale as placing a checkpoint on a major interstate that does not intersect an international border.

              That would pretty much cover the rest of the population of the US.

          3. I’d say at least a third of CA.

            1. In terms of population, about 90% of the state.

        2. “New England”? ha!

          We in REAL AMERICA call that ‘the Canadian infiltration-zone. We’ve already lost you to the hordes of unwashed canucks flooding south to take our jobs, ravish our women, and undermine our culture.

          1. Considering that William Shatner has indeed taken our jobs, ravished our women, and undermined our culture, you do have a point.

          2. We’ve already infiltrated your media through various movie stars and celebrities. Our Zamboni technology is decades ahead of yours. One of these days we’ll get to your loved ones just like we got to Donald Sutherland.

      2. The ACLU’s point would be that, according to the law they use to justify themselves, there *could be* will be.


      3. The Border Patrol has ran patrols on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, which has no physical connection to Canada, and hassled the residents there.

        It’s only a matter of time before the Border Patrol notices that territorial sovereignty is less than 100 vertical miles and puts everyone in no-Constitution zone because of the Space Border.

    1. Speaking of which…

      …why do i have a sinking suspicion that *this*…?

      is actually a super-left-wing game that pretends that a looming Corporate-Fascist Dystopia will impose soviet-like conditions on people’s lives?

      I say this because the New Yorker loves it, and because someone described it as a, “fascinating exploration of morality versus progress“.

      Because “progress”(I assume economic) is by definiton ‘immoral’?

      hmm. Nope. well, not at first glance. Its a game where you play a soviet border guard, and must contend with perverse incentives.

      “Will you allow a resident trafficker back into the country, after an appeal from a girl who knows he plans to enslave her into prostitution? No? Will you do it because if you don’t it will cost you 5 moneys in fines, and you won’t be able to feed your children as a result? When you’ve got the choice between sending someone away with their faked documentation, or having them arrested by your clearly horrific government, which way will you go? And is it the same way once a guard offers to cut you in on the profits of detaining more people, such that you can put the heating on that night?”

      1. is actually a super-left-wing game that pretends that a looming Corporate-Fascist Dystopia will impose soviet-like conditions on people’s lives?

        Glory to Arstotzka!

        Cobrastan is not a real country.

        Seriously though, if you’ve played Luke Pope’s games, you know that if he has an axe to grind it’s against the surveillance state, as opposed to any particular economic ideology.

      2. Having played through ‘Papers, Please’ it doesn’t really have an axe to grind in terms of economics (but it does mock the shit out of Soviet-style poverty). It’s more focused on how the player responds morally to situations in a brutal police state where letting people go under the radar actively affects your own well-being. It also tends to mock needlessly complex bureaucratic regulations and their arbitrary nature.

  2. Sounds better in it’s original form…

    “Papieren Bitte!, Rous rous!”

      1. Thanks Derp.

        I and my German teacher in high school had an understanding, I hated him and he hated me.

        It worked out fine, but, I have to say my German spelling did suffer.

      2. I remember when moving from middle school to high school, I had to choose from a slate of lists of subjects. We had the compulsory Irish, English, Maths and we had to choose from a bunch of selections of 4 subjects.

        Problem was that the four that most aligned with my preferences included the dreaded Mr. Cotter who I’d butted heads with for the previous three years. I chose it and went to my first class with him. I had previously lined up another teacher to give me private lessons in another subject in order to make up the needed four.

        Oh boy was it a pleasure to tell him to get knotted. I guess I’m one of the very few to tell him to get f’cked in his entire 30 year career.

        1. We had the compulsory Irish

          If I were more pleasant schools wouldn’t have to make me mandatory.

          1. But then you wouldn’t be as charming!

    1. Not really. “Papieren Bitte!” translates to “Papers, please!”

      US agents have dispensed with the pleasantries, and say “Hey! Listen up! Show me your papers!”

      As portrayed by Hollywood, at least, the Gestapo was more courteous than US TSA and border checkpoint agents.

  3. OT: Via Bob Murphy–Manly-man big time libertarian hater uses (very interesting, seriously, no sarcasm) personal experience to claim private road networks are impossible yet his very screed proves otherwise.

    Usual commenter types comment. Read at own risk.

    I’m not a Reddit member so I dropped a response at Murphy’s place.

    1. Ha! Forgot to mention that they’re aware of our Roadz! gag.

    2. Just now watching “Braveheart”…

      “Where are you going?”

      “I’m going to pick a fight.”

  4. The key point that got this guy in trouble was failing to bend over. That’s what most encounters with government agents come down to. Bend over and submit, and they’ll let you go. Usually. Stand up for your rights, and they’ll likely fuck you.

    This is the primary corruption of the police. Too many of them are cops because they have a will to dominate and bully. Once they get a badge, they feel *entitled* to dominate and bully, and if you deny them that, they’ll fuck you.

    And there is absolutely no reason for them to stop. Even if this guy wins his lawsuit, none of them will be fired. The government will just shake down citizens to pay judgments against their agents who bully and humiliate citizens. Citizens lose coming and going, but the thugs lose nothing.

    1. I strongly support suing the police for abuses

      Works for me!!!!

      And our union stands behind us and in some cases presses the suits!!!

      Never stand for police abuse

      However, the place to seek redress is not on the street during the encounter

      This anticop critic learned darn well that compliance is key…..-training/

      The place for redress is the courts, the press and of course – film police

      We (good cops) welcome it!!!!!

      1. Fuck off slaver




  5. Freedom: You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    1. Awesome! A new woman on H&R (I think)

  6. This is where having walled borders would help. If we could actually keep non-citizens out, then we wouldn’t have to be stopping people.

    But instead, anyone can walk over the border…

    1. JeremyR|1.11.15 @ 11:20PM|#
      “This is where having walled borders would help. If we could actually keep non-citizens out, then we wouldn’t have to be stopping people.”
      So would just throwing everyone in jail.
      Did you have a point?

    2. If you want to buy a lot of property down that way and build a nice wall on it, you’re free to that.

      But, if I’m your neighbor, don’t expect to be able to tell me I have to build a wall. I might want to or I could do a moat or even a wild clown sanctuary. Or nothing, my choice.

      1. wild clown sanctuary


        1. I was able to train one as a wrangler but he was killed in a grim, but hilarious stampede.

          I’m going to hire from outside next time. And whoever it is will have some big shoes to fill.

  7. I’ve said It before I’ve seen it before and I’ll say it again that when you take police critics and they go through citizen academies and ridealongs and they see things from our angle, we overwhelmingly see a change of heart and often they become some of our biggest supporters

    WE ARE WINNING…..-training/

    1. Fuck off slaver


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