Angry Arizonans Confront Agents at Border Patrol Checkpoints

"Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school."


End Border Patrol Checkpoints

Yesterday, residents of Arivaca, Arizona, a town I've written about before, stepped beyond complaining about the Border Patrol internal checkpoint that turns every trip past the city limits into an airport security experience. Instead of just picketing, they staged sit-ins at the checkpoint and, temporarily, disrupted the operation.

Border Patrol agents were reportedly un-thrilled by the experience, but their discomfort doesn't compare to the everyday hassles they inflict on people.

What's it like to live by these checkpoints? The End Border Patrol Checkpoints Facebook page describes the experience:

Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school. Every time their parents take them to Tucson shopping. Every time they go to a friends house in Amado, or to Karate in Sahuarita. Men carry guns, dogs bark, lights flash.

Yeah. Good times. Well, not really, for those who get probed and prodded every day. So, the locals started monitoring the checkpoint, located miles from the actual border. Agents got nasty in response, refusing to identify themselves, cursing at the locals, and blocking their view of agents' activities.

So Arivaca residents stepped it up. About 100 of them showed up for a planned protest yesterday. According to Border Community Action:

Upon entering the checkpoint, they were met with a blockade of armed Border Patrol agents who used physical force, attempting to move the residents back. Despite this intimidation, protesters held their ground and sat-in while community members held a public hearing calling for the removal of the checkpoint.

Residents called on Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) to hold the hearings he promised last year on the negative impact of such checkpoints. Grijalva seems to be a little conflicted on the issue, since he has protested specific outrages, while also demanding more Customs and Border Protection funding and personnel.

So, Arivaca residents may not want to hold their breath for any improvements.

The University of Arizona's Terry Bressi has documented and recorded a series of unpleasant encounters, including arrest, at Border Patrol checkpoints. He was interviewed for Reason TV by Tracy Oppenheimer (below).

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    1. This is the exact opposite of a nutpunch. These people are heroes for turning this back around on the police statists. Do unto others as they do unto you. “If you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” cuts both ways and it’s long past time these people were told what they are doing is really fucking wrong.
      (On a related note, when the cop seized that kids’ phone for perfectly legally filming him, the kid should have known to start screaming “Stop grabbing my dick! Stop grabbing my dick!”.)

  1. Clearly, the solution is to get the damn immigants outta there, then there would be no need for these checkpoints. Be part of the solution, guys!

    1. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate

      1. I’m not sure science based puns are welcomed here… or ANYWHERE!

      2. +1 Alkaloid salt.

      3. Classic

      4. In Texas, we have entirely too much precipitation right now, and I am afraid of getting swept up in all the solutions flowing by!

    2. If only these checkpoints were strictly for immigration.

      1. Wait…what??!!! You’re….implying something here!

    3. “Clearly, the solution is to get the damn immigants outta there”

      Of course some statist would jump in here to blame immigrants. The solution is to respect human rights and free narkets for goods and labor, MJGreen, you fucking ignoramus.

  2. Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school.

    Hey, if you don’t like it, go to Russia.

    1. +1 Checkpoint Charlie

  3. “Grijalva seems to be a little conflicted on the issue, since he has protested specific outrages, while also demanding more Customs and Border Protection funding and personnel.”

    Common enough thing with politicians, especially Democrats. Radley Balko has amply demonstrated how politicians who protest police outrages demand more funding and personnel that end up going to exactly the sorts of programs that they decry. (Sometimes without them realizing it, apparently.)

    1. Regardless of how you come down on the immigration debate, checkpoints up to 100 miles inside the border is a fucking travesty.

      1. Given that Arizona has a history of voting in border control hawks, one might conclude these protesters aren’t exactly representative of your typical Arizona voters.

        1. Yes, the majority is almost always tyrannical. ..

          1. You say that like angry mob rule passionate democracy is a bad thing…

            1. It should also be noted that Sheriff Arpaio and friends have built themselves up quite the political machine down there. I judge Arizonian election results with the same credulity as those from equatorial African nations.

              1. Agreed.. Sheriff Arpaio is probably the only man who could put a chill up Nixon’s spine, and that speaks volumes. Arpaio has probably watch cool-hand Luke a few too many times, as well. How his jail and chain-gang party isn’t an affront to the dignity of his community, is quite frankly.. beyond me. Science is currently developing a fire hot enough for him to die in.. May his ardent supporters join him in that fire.

                1. A nonprofit I work with ( that tracks police shootings of dogs was attacked on social media for publishing a case in which Arpaio’s men had burned down a house, with a dog inside, during a military-style raid. Over pot.

                  We were accused of spreading propaganda. Apparently Arpaio started some Animal Cop divison like on the reality TV shows and has used it to claim he is an Animal Rights hero, despite the long line of dead pets his SWAT teams leave behind.

              2. Or Chicago.

        2. Hard to imagine that even Arizona hawks support messing around with citizens 100 miles away from the border. That’s just tyrannical.

          1. Yeah and the CDC shouldn’t be discussing gun control too, but as typical with government these agencies eventually grow far beyond their original purpose.

          2. Not that it makes it right, but Arivaca is only 10 miles from the border.

        3. Sadly, the average AZ voter does not live near the border – having heavy border security has no obvious negatives when you live in Apache or Coconino county, not so great for those living in Yuma or Santa Cruz county.

        4. Can’t say I blame them. Need to stop this illegal bullshit.

          1. Make it legal (guest worker program, etc) Problem solved. “We are a nation of laws” is not a justification to tear apart families, deport and detain millions and setup military-style checkpoints across the country.

    2. Those CBP agents vote too.

      1. That is another item that we need to fix. Civilian government employees should be barred from voting. It is a clear conflict to vote on your own paycheck.

        Simple choice, work for the government or have the right to vote, not both.

        1. Actually, we should expand that, get a check from the government and you can’t vote. All for the same reason.

          1. This should be such an obvious thing in a democracy. Get taxpayer money, lose your right to vote until you’re off the sauce.

            1. So anyone taking medicaire, medicaid, food stamps, student loans, etc? Youve just disenfranchised 60% of the country. How about we stick with One Man OnE Vote? Allowing the govt to pick and choose who is franchised has always lead to disaster. Its remarkable that a Reason reader would be so myopic as to suggest such a course of action.

    3. Raul Grijalva is possibly the biggest asshole Prog in Congress. He would happily put everyone on this site in a concentration camp.

      That said, it’s possible he’s right about this checkpoint crap.

      1. Bully for you. Few are brave enough to openly support on the pro-concentration camp side of things.


    Heil Bush Obama!

    1. Ihre Papiere, bitte.

      It always sounds … better … in German.

      1. Checkpoint Charlie Carlos.

        1. That would be a pretty hilarious sign to plant in front of the outpost.

      2. You forgot “Ausweis! Schnell! Macht schnell!… Untermensch”
        Without it, it lacks.. context..

        1. German really is the best language to yell stuff in. This is empirically proven linguistic fact.

          1. “The Germans have always been a comforting people.”

          2. I don’t know “Ficke Alle!!” doesn’t seem to have the same punch as it’s English equivalent.

            1. I’m not the expert I used to be, but I seem to remember they don’t use that word the same way we do. I.e. it’s just mechanics.

              1. “To us, the toilet is a simple, functional item, but for you? It’s the basis of an entire culture!

              2. Well I sure hope that protester I saw wasn’t using it in the literal sense.

          3. It’s the best language for screaming at lazy children. They don’t know what any of it means, but it frightens the shit out of them.

      3. Checkpoint Karl

    2. PAYPAHZ PLEEZ! Seems to be pretty popular with the peasants. You might note that most states now offer ID cards equivalent to drivers licenses for people who don’t drive, mostly due to popular demand. I don’t think most people find government issued identification as scary as you think. In fact, quite a few people insist on it.

      1. “Papers, please” is not about obtaining identification (per se) but about being required to possess identification at all times and present it upon command.

        Also, just because people show up at the DMV to get identification doesn’t mean their fancy is tickled by the concept of government-issued ID. More and more things are requiring identification nowadays, most of them by law (terrorists! money laundering! gambling! tax evasion! etc.).

        1. How could I forget, “for the children!”

        2. Try picking up your package from a FedEx or UPS depot without one. Private companies also protect themselves from liability by insisting on government issued ID’s. Like it or not, government vetted identification is the gold standard in ID’s.

          1. 1. FedEx and UPS can’t stop me on the road and force me to present ID.

            2. The fact that they like it is a non sequitur. It offloads a cost from them onto the taxpayer; of course they like it, they’re not paying for it.

            1. 1. Rather irrelevant to my point, which is that most people find government issued ID’s useful, not scary.

              2. UPS and FedEx don’t pay taxes too? What do you suggest they use in lieu of government issued ID’s to verify their customer’s identities? And why would it cost them significantly more than demanding a drivers license? If anything, most companies are thrilled to offer membership cards, credit cards, etc. But they don’t accept them as proof of identity.

                1. Given that even the article you linked shows that there there’s a lot more in the RealID Act than simply standardizing drivers licenses, how is it germane? It would appear most of the objection came from how it would be used, not the ID itself. I don’t see any movement to abolish drivers licenses or state ID’s. Nor Social Security cards, either.

                  1. Careful, you’ll catch a cold from the intense breeze created by that goal-post shifting.

              1. Rather irrelevant to my point

                And your entire argument is irrelevant to “papers, please” which is not about appeal or utility but coercion.

                1. BINGO!

              2. To answer your second point, in the absence of government-issued ID, FedEx and UPS would have to check identity (or else disclaim any liability do so) in some other fashion. Most likely, in the absence of a government-sanctioned authority, there would be a clearinghouse for such things. Regardless, I reiterate that this has nothing to do with “papers, please” which is not about what people do voluntarily but about what they are forced to do by the government.

              3. Also, I paid for my ID, although I can’t say that I paid the whole cost of it (since I don’t know what that is). Maybe FedEx (along with every other net taxpayer) did pay for part of my ID, or maybe I subsidized useless government bureaucrats.

                1. You’re arguing with Tulpa.

                  1. I’m not Tulpa. Sorry.

                    1. Even if not true, you might as well be.

                    2. Tulpa Clone?

                      If you and the original Tulpa eat ice cream together, is yours and ice cream clone?

                  2. You’re arguing with Tulpa.

                    Yeah, I should have known.

                  3. A protest! It must be the work of “outside agitators”.

  5. Obviously more Hispanic and Latino officers is the answer… and more funding.

  6. I used to live in an internal border checkpoint state and if I still lived there, I’ve had a vision of doing something similar, but more passive. Organize large groups of people to drive through the checkpoints and refuse to comply. Sit ins are great for drawing media attention, but if you want to hopelessly gum up the works, a mass refusal to comply would be the best tactic.

    1. a mass refusal to comply would be the best tactic

      Wouldn’t they all end up arrested?

      1. Doubt it. The first couple through, possibly. Imagine the drain on resources when half the checkpoints officers have pulled the first two cars out, then another shows, then another, then another, then another.

        1. “They can arrest us all!”

          Yes they can.

        2. Bullets are cheaper and faster.

        3. Who’s going first?

          1. If I were able to organize the protest, I would go first. I’m old fashioned that way– don’t ask the troops to do anything you’re not willing to do yourself, lead from the front, leave a mediocre looking corpse, that kind of thing.

            But on a serious note, it’s not like we don’t have documented evidence of what happens at checkpoints where people refuse. You’ll very likely survive the encounter, might end up getting tazed and taking one for the team, very likely get pulled out and detained for an ‘extended period’.

      2. The hard part would be organizing it and having it be a surprise.

    2. Oooh, and you could get all the volunteers to be native Americans too, for irony.

      1. How?

        1. I think this needs a narrow gaze. (Assuming you meant it as pun, and not asking a serious question)

          1. Me in heap big trouble now, many moons.

        2. I get what you did there.

  7. I’m not saying this is a pilot for imposing nation-wide restrictions on personal travel of the sort seen under totalitarian regimes, but if such a thing did happen, how would it look any different from what’s going on in Arivaca?

    1. All those people in nice fly over states are like a sleeping giant… or a bear. Don’t poke it.

      1. All those people in flyover states will be routinely condemned as backwater hicks, hillbillies, and anti-authority rednecks by coastal liberals who, by the time anything of a national nature gains traction, will be demanding restrictions on interstate travel. And universalizing border patrol activities will be the answer to problems liberals fostered in the first place, probably economic.

        1. Coastal liberals are on the border too, or are we only counting land borders?

          1. The DHS seems to be more aggressive near the Mexican border than the Canadian, and much more aggressive near the land borders than the coastal ones.

            1. Yep. According to this map:


              Everybody in the most populated parts of the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Pacific Northwest live in the ‘border zone’. But I’ve never heard of an Arizona-style mobile checkpoint being set up in any of these areas.

              1. I believe the Ridley Report or some other Free Stater has documented their existence from time to time in northern NH.

            2. I dunno, there was that chick that got written about earlier this week that got tazed up there by Canuckistan.

          2. Land borders, because international waters extend to what, 100miles out? So having an internal checkpoint along the coast of Oregon might raise some eyebrows.

              1. Man, where did I get 100miles? I blame public school.

                1. Man, where did I get 100miles?

                  The exclusive economic zone extends out to 200 nm, so presumably the Coast Guard will still conduct operations out that far if necessary.

  8. Shouldn’t the Border Patrol be at, you know, the border?

    1. Oh this trope…

    2. The border is 1000 miles wide…

    3. Every city/county/state has a border, and the 100 miles *guideline* is quite a ways in reality..

  9. Border Patrol agents were reportedly un-thrilled by the experience

    Stand by for an avalanche of PTSD disability claims.
    “I as only following orders, and they treated me like I was some sort of NAZI!”

    1. Pictures of hanging NAZIs from the Nuremburg trials who “were only following orders” ought to smooth those ruffled PTSD feathers..

  10. Good place for an OC demonstration? Or potential site of a massacre.

    1. Both?

  11. If you were going to do a “system overload” attack, you would want everybody dressed up as the Frito Bandito, wouldn’t you?

    1. Tuco, from the good, the bad, and the ugly..


      2. *I*, will dress as El Guapo.

        1. +1 Three Amigos

  12. Ra?l

    My assimilation radar sounded off. Every vowel in Spanish is sounded. By default, the emphasis rests on the first syllable. It is physically impossible for the pronounce RA UL with an emphasis on either syllable. The accent mark over the ‘u’ is unnecessary.

    1. Spanish as spoken where? Spain seems to like the accent mark, so does Cuba.

      1. Yeah, but in Espain, it’s all elispy.

        1. OK, Pah OOL.

    2. Every vowel in Spanish is sounded.

      Not true. Spanish has both diphthongs and diphthongs.

      By default, the emphasis rests on the first syllable.

      This is true.

      It is physically impossible for the pronounce RA UL with an emphasis on either syllable

      Are you saying that it’s impossible to stress both syllables or just a particular one?

      The accent mark over the ‘u’ is unnecessary.

      It’s unnecessary in English, yes. But that’s because just as you note that in the Romance languages, the stress tends to lie on the first syllable; whereas, the opposite is true for English.

    3. The accent mark over the ‘u’ is unnecessary.

      Ra?l’s friend Paulo disagrees.

    4. Now Mustafa….there’s a name worth of accent marks.

      1. “Musta fuckin’ what?”

      2. You feel lucky, punk?

    5. Incorrect

  13. One of the best border checkpoint encounters ever. This guy is a true hero:

    There is a plethora of videos out there of brave people getting tired of this nonsense.

  14. Arizonans need our support. Support every community and every individual who oppose the checkpoints. This issue affects all of us.

    So first – it’s kind of a minor linguistic point but still an important one – let’s not call the protesters ‘locals’. It’s a little demeaning, and it suggests that their fight only belongs to them. Their fight belongs to everyone who believes the feds have run amok since 9/11. I keep referring in my comments to the Peacekeepers in the Hunger Games. That is the world we have entered. The border patrol agents act like those Peacekeepers.

    Second, civil resistance is the effective path. If violence occurs – and it will – let the border patrol initiate it. Let the entire world – Arizona, the Southwest, the United States, North America, and other countries overseas – that force underlies this operation, and sustains it. Its main purpose is not homeland security, but control. NSA convinces itself that domestic spying is essential to proect the homeland, but it is only an excuse to do what it wants to do. The same goes for border control checkpoints. The point of it all is a show of force, and a show of force is always aims at intimidation and submission.

    To stand up to people who want to use force against you takes a lot of courage and persistence. We need to support the people who engage in civil resistance as much as we can. They need us, even more than we need them.

  15. My last point grows out of some remarks I made several years ago, as Arizona itself enacted strict immigration control policies. The kernel of the law was that if you looked like you came from south of the border, state authorities could demand that you produce documents on the spot. The rest of the country was so unhappy with the policy that it even suggested Arizona ought to secede, if it wanted to enforce a policy so out of step with the rest of the country.

    It’s almost as if federal border control interpreted Arizona’s strict policy as an invitation to come in and set up their Hunger Games practices. You don’t hear about such mistreatment of citizens at border control checkpoints in Texas, New Mexico, and California. It is a long border. Why has
    Arizona had the worst of it from the feds?

    I don’t want to suggest that Arizona brought this treatment from the feds on itself. Rather, I want to suggest that, like Texas, it actually start to talk about secession. Secession, and talk of it, will not make the feds clear out. It will not help the citizens of Arivaca in the near term. What it will do is highlight that Arizonans are serious about the issue of border control. For a long time, the state has argued that if the feds won’t enact a practical and consistent immigration policy, Arizona would like to control its own border with Mexico. When the state tried to do that, the feds came in and imposed an odious regime of checkpoints, many of them far from the border.

  16. Arizonans need to say, in every way they can, that the feds are not welcome there. Let the feds have to pass through Arizona’s border checkpoints whenever they try to enter and leave the state. Let the feds face the same security checks they impose on others. Let the feds experience their own blowback, from a state that has reached a high state of frustration with federal interference.

    Yes, that would be picking a fight, but that’s just what we need.

    1. You “get” this issue. This checkpoint thing is extremely dangerous and needs to be resisted vehemently.

      It would be so refreshing to see a county sheriff grow a pair and escort these “agents” out of his county with the instruction “We don’t do this in MY county”.

      Even better, would be that sheriff actually arresting these people, booking them, fingerprints, photo, NCIC arrest number/record and orange jump suit.

  17. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.

    This is wha- I do…… ??????

  18. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ??????

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