Border zone

Border Patrol Will Keep Checkpoints Open During Hurricane Harvey

Because the important thing during a hurricane is making sure evacuees aren't undocumented immigrants.

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David Maung/EFE/Newscom

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced it will keep open interior border checkpoints in the path of Hurricane Harvey, drawing condemnation from civil liberties and immigration groups.

"Border Patrol checkpoints will not be closed unless there is a danger to the safety of the traveling public and our agents," CBP said in a statement to the Texas Tribune yesterday. "Border Patrol resources, including personnel and transportation, will be deployed on an as needed basis to augment the efforts and capabilities of local-response authorities."

Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall in Texas on late Friday or early Saturday as a category three storm.

CBP operates more than 150 interior checkpoints in border zones across the United States. Congress has granted CBP the power to operate with near impunity within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Two out of every three Americans live in border zones, which include, for instance, the entire state of Michigan.

While CBP agents are only supposed to detain travelers at checkpoints if they have probable cause of a suspected immigration violation, civil liberties groups have long claimed that the agency regularly oversteps its constitutional bounds.

And now, they say, the agency's decision to keep checkpoints open during the potentially deadly storm will put undocumented immigrants at risk. Lorella Praeli, the American Civil Liberties Union's director of immigration policy and campaigns, called Thursday's announcement "a disgusting move from the Border Patrol that breaks with past practices" and said that the CBP "should never keep checkpoints open during any natural disasters in the United States."

"As people seek refuge from hurricane Harvey, they are likely to have to go north or west of Texas and would have to go through a checkpoint," Praeli said in a statement Friday. "By keeping checkpoints open, the Border Patrol is putting undocumented people and mixed-status families at risk out of fear of deportations."

In a follow-up comment to Reason on Friday, a CBP spokesperson said:

U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints in the path of Hurricane Harvey in Texas will close as state highways close. These closures will occur in a manner that ensures the safety of the traveling public and our agents. Border Patrol checkpoints that are outside of the path of the hurricane will remain operational. CBP will remain vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region. Anyone in the path of this storm should follow instructions from their local officials and heed any warnings as this dangerous storm approaches.

The federal government has amped up its immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump. In one controversial instance, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents apprehended a woman in a Texas courthouse, where she was seeking a restraining order against her allegedly abusive boyfriend. In New York, city and state officials, including prosecutors, have asked undercover immigration agents to stop staking out local courthouses, saying the practice discourages crime victims from coming forward.

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  1. Remember fellow patriots. It’s your duty to have your “Fuck off slaver!” button on, while approaching all government “safety” points.

    1. In next week’s Brickbat, commenter Cy gets a police dog up him.

      1. “You like dags?”

  2. Pretty sure this is fake news. That super-smart loveconstitution guy assured everyone in the ICE/Police thread that such checkpoints ended in 2015.

    1. Hey, Tulpa!

      I was asking about “current” internal ICE checkpoints and that douche pointed out 2015 articles.

      At least we can add one 2017 article that mentions internal ICE checkpoints in passing.

      Open borders and TDS really get Reason writers all worked up that they jump between Tulpa accounts.

      1. loveconstitution1789|8.25.17 @ 1:31PM|#

        Do they exist? I have never been stopped without probable cause.

        You must be on the front lines fighting those off-border checkpoints in your head.

        By my reading, you denied their existence because you’ve never been stopped at one.

        1. Well now that he knows they exist, he’s for ’em.

          Or he doesn’t understand what these checkpoints are, it’s hard to tell.

          1. He still thinks we’re talking about checkpoints on the border, because, not having personally encountered the other kind, he doesn’t believe they exist.

            What’s really weird is the implication – that he thinks a bunch of Texans are evacuating to Mexico.

            1. Where are they?

              I never said they don’t exist. I said that I have never been subjected to internal immigration checkpoints in the USA.

              But hey keep babbling about things that you want me to have said. It makes you look smart.

              1. Here

                And a list

                They also do them near the Canadian border. Border patrol asserts the power to conduct random stops within 100 miles of the border.

                1. Thanks Reason writer for that wikipedia info.

                  Any chance of getting a nice 2017 article about them with Trump’s policies in effect? He has implemented some new changes to the open border policy.

                  I have been through those regions and never been stopped for an ICE checkpoint.

                  I will now look for them and if stopped refuse to roll my window down. Crossing fingers that they will do something stupid and I will then have standing to sue for violating the 4th Amendment.

                  1. Nevermind. I’m not even trying to argue with you about immigration here. The article isn’t even about the border. I thought I was providing you with the information you have been asking for.

                  2. So because a list of where these checkpoints are, updated to the nanosecond, can not be provided they must not exist.

                    That isn’t very logical guy. This is an article where the government is saying they not only exist, but they’re going to be up-and-running as people ‘flee for their lives’ (even if that’s gross hyperbole for what will probably end up a cat2).

                    Are you trying to burn all bridges, or do you just assume you’ve already done so?

                2. I live in Michigan and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a checkpoint which is strange because almost the entirety of the state is within that 100 mile zone.

      2. loveconstitution1789|8.25.17 @ 1:31PM|#

        Do they exist? I have never been stopped without probable cause.

        You must be on the front lines fighting those off-border checkpoints in your head.

        By my reading, you denied their existence because you’ve never been stopped at one.

        1. doh

          1. Yes, reading would have clued YOU in that I have been stopped during traffic stops.

            Doh!

        2. Hi Tulpa!

              1. Lick my balls, Weigel.

            1. Shut up Tulpa!

      3. Why would you assume that person is Tulpa? Tulpa was a self-described “Law-and-Order Libertarian,” he wasn’t the type to raise a fuss about this.

        1. It’s because loveconstitution is Tulpa. You can tell because he’s fucking manic again.

          1. We’re all Tulpa.

            1. Not me. I am Spartacus.

    2. To be fair, he hails from a parallel world in which President Trump is steadily and efficiently dismantling the federal bureaucracy. He sometimes loses track of the differences between that world and this, and isn’t helped by the fact that the drinking water over there is full of lead.

      1. And you hail from an imaginary World were TDS is all you see and hear.

        You REALLY need to get back on your meds.

        Clean the spittle out of the corner of your mouth too. There is no need to get all upset when people expose your sillyness.

        1. I can’t figure out if you are a moron or a troll.

          1. Well you’re a moron and a troll… so don’t include me in your little fantasy.

            1. Trolls gotta stick together.

              Let me know when you have anything interesting to say.

          2. I said troll after about a month. The nice thing is that ‘troll’ incorporates ‘moron.’

            1. Hey, I’m a troll šŸ™

              1. You’re obviously an exception, moron.

            2. You have been a troll for far longer than 1 month.

              I know there are far too many of your LINOs on here.

        2. Any case you think you’re making would be greatly helped by you not being so tragically dumb, lc.

          Now repeat the above line back to me and then declare victory, as you are wont to do.

          1. No argument at all.

            Jesus, you trolls are not even trying anymore.

            Just stick with lame links to get people to comment. Leave the actual real world discussions to us adults.

            *sticks pacifier in “X”s mouth.

            1. I guess becoming utterly incoherent is one way to respond.

              1. Yes, you are incoherent.

                Can I get a reading tutor?

    3. WRONG! I’ve had to sweat those checkpoints constantly since 1998. The Man goes to great lengths to keep word of images of those mantraps off the web. They not only serve the Aryan Way of Life, but provide handy pretexts for asset-forfeiture robbery of anything that can be pried off of travelers at gunpoint. I watched an attorney get a 4-year sentence for trying to get some hemp past one. I also watched a harmless individual get sentenced to half a century for another such non-habit-forming commodity prohibitionists avidly steal. Violating people’s rights with sumptuary Sharia laws only makes “our” government more closely resemble the Islamic States.

      1. Bullshit! All bullshit.

    4. Personal observation attests that at least some of these infernal checkpoints were alive, well, open, funcitonal along Interstate 10 in East Texas and Arizona.

      I will leave the plebes to discuss whether they SHOULD have been, but fact is, they WERE.

    5. the agency’s decision to keep checkpoints open during the potentially deadly storm will put undocumented immigrants at risk.

      Well, that’s a good start… if it REALLY puts them at risk.

  3. Well at least we have a place to root for the hurricane to hit.

    1. With any luck, most of the checkpoints are in low-lying areas.

      1. They will be just fine and that border secure as can be.

        1. Oh lordy, you didn’t even get to the part in the first sentence about these being interior border checkpoints. As in, the checkpoints that CBP operates within the United States.

          1. Nice of Reason to cover that in 2017. Finally! Its been since 2015 that open border types have tried to unsuccessfully argue that borders should be wide open.

            All 150 internal checkpoints? Where are those? I have been all along the Southern US border and never get stopped except at the USA/Mexico border.

            Trump is dismantling the illegal open border free-for-all.

            Commence all your TDS rants below.

            1. I’m no open borders type and even I think interior border checks are BS. There’s no reason to confound the two issues.

              1. Look, Rhywun, lc1789 is very, very stupid.

                1. No argument Citizen? I know I make you so mad by being one of the voices for secure borders on Reason.

                  1. Yes, because you’re so good at presenting arguments yourself in the rest of this thread. Isn’t there some paste you could be eating? That’s more your speed.

                  2. You’re argumentation is straight up saying things that happened to others did not happen.

                    You are reading someone write, “Checkpoints exist, I have gone through then today” And saying “no, they don’t because I haven’t seen it.”

              2. Internal checkpoints are unconstitutional. They violate the 4th Amendment. Border checkpoints are perfectly constitutional.

                If Reason would do a 2017 article on it, we could discuss internal checkpoints.

                  1. Just having fun countering all the trolls like you today.

                    1. It’s just adorable that you think that’s what you are doing.

                1. Internal checkpoints are unconstitutional. They violate the 4th Amendment. Border checkpoints are perfectly constitutional.

                  If you could just pull you head out of your ass for one minute, you might realize that no one is disagreeing about either of those points.

                  1. If you would pull your head out of the other trolls asses, you would read that open border types were talking about USA/Mexico border checkpoints and internal checkpoints.

                    I cannot speak to the internal checkpoints because I have never been stopped at one.

                    I was discussing border checkpoints.

                    This article is not about internal ICE checkpoints but is an article about very regional ICE checkpoints and how bad it is that rule of law would be enforced during a Cat 2 hurricane that will be mostly rain inland when it hits.

                    1. This article is not about internal ICE checkpoints

                      Yes, it is. Read the first couple of paragraphs again. Do you really think people are evacuating to Mexico?

                      This article is not about internal ICE checkpoints but is an article about very regional ICE checkpoints and how bad it is that rule of law would be enforced

                      Regional, internal checkpoints along major US highways. The exact ones you yourself just said were unconstitutional.

                2. Internal checkpoints are unconstitutional. They violate the 4th Amendment.

                  No, they don’t. Not according to a 1976 SCOTUS decision upon which the operation of these internal checkpoints is allowed:

                  http://bit.ly/2wvfmVK

                  Got it?

                  That said, this issue is highly conflated with the open borders debate, when in fact they are two separate issues. You can be against the internal checkpoints and against an open border policy at the same time. Reason, et al. like to fudge this whole thing. Liberals use the same tactic and most of us decry it, as we should in this matter.

              3. I’m in general agreement – but the fact is, our borders have been too damned porous for decades.

                Put real border security in place – including a dead zone where anyone crossing is shot – and we can dispense with this internal-security crap.

            2. Trump is dismantling the illegal open border free-for-all.

              And when main stream America figures out what he’s doing… he could get RE-ELECTED!

  4. This just shows how inept our government is. They should close all checkpoints as residents are fleeing the storm and then reopen as those residents try to return home, but of course do not announce that the checkpoints will be open when residents return. At least that is what I would do IF I were a racist, xenophobe Republican (looking at you Jeff “The Garden Gnome” Sessions).

    1. Sucks to be the people who want to go home first from wherever and get stuff and then flee because the border points are closed.

      Plus, crazy illegals will just jump the border checkpoints even in a hurricane. It does not look like C.J. did not include that in the anti-border security article.

      1. So if the border checkpoints are closed, only illegals can get past them? What?

        1. Key word “jump”. I know, its tough to read.

          1. I don’t think you understand how checkpoints work, or that illegal immigrants don’t magically acquire motivations or abilities that native or naturalized citizens lack.

            1. Yes, because you are too fat to climb a wall? Its much easier to claim said wall if there are not guards, in this case, ICE agents.

              1. We’re not even talking about a wall, you retard. You still haven’t even noticed that this entire article is about interior border checkpoints, as laid out in the first paragraph.

                1. Hey, he said it violates the 4th amendment and also that unless reason says so we can’t mention them.

                  So there.

                2. I was, you retard. I don’t currently know anything about internal ICE checkpoints because I have not been stopped at one and only been at Reason for 1 year, so 2015 were not very helpful to me.

                  You morons were acting like this is an in-depth article about internal ICE checkpoints. its not. Its about regional ICE internal checkpoints because a CAT 2 hurricane is coming in.

                  As I stated, checkpoints whether they be license, DUI, or ICE inside the USA border are unconstitutional violations of the 4th Amendment.

                  1. *2015 articles that is.

  5. Just for clarity, what are the options or what does having checkpoints ‘open’ denote?

    I mean I’d rather have them manned and open than closed. Also, I don’t feel too bad about making government agents wade through 36″ or whatever of rain in order to keep them open.

    1. Its a Cat 2 hurricane. People have endured worse.

      This is a great way for Reason writers to get in some pro-open border Cosmo invites before the hurricane party.

    2. I mean I’d rather have them manned and open than closed.

      Why? People are being told to evacuate.

      Are you also under the impression that this is referring to the actual border crossings? It’s referring to “roadside immigration checkpoints north of the Rio Grande Valley.”

      1. I think he misunderstood closed to mean no one can cross period.

    3. Closed means it’s just a normal freeway, it doesn’t mean people can’t pass at all if that’s the confusion.

  6. Yep. As God’s Own Prohibitionists morph into a National Socialist party and Bryanist Altrutian communists strangle and swallow the Dems. Amerika is morphing into a divided Berlin, down to the Checkpoint Charlies and snipers.

    1. You must be happy then. Making the USA into a den of illegals, Nanny-Staters and socialists is what the left wanted.

  7. Wouldn’t want illegals taking away from a true-blooded American their “right” to a formaldehyde soaked FEMA trailers.

  8. interior border checkpoints

    Hmm. If we implemented *exterior* border checkpoints we could really make a difference.

    1. Well you have to enforce actual border security first and deport illegals currently inside US territory before invading Mexico to prevent their army of labor from bivouacking inside the USA.

    2. Already have… they’re called consulates. In addition, Monroe doctrinarians form the CIA, FATF, AML, TF, CFT, DNFBP, IRS-CID, INL, ICRG, GIABA, GAFISUD, FSRB, FIU, FinCEN, EAG, PIAB, OFBCI and DEA that infiltrate foreign governments as “mentors.” When the Brits did it to us, Jefferson called it “transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”

  9. It’s the new Trump efficiency and cuts to wasteful spending – as long as the CIA is cranking up the hurricane machine for the devastation of black communities, might as well use the opportunity to harass Hispanics and kill two birds with one stone. Also, I can’t help but notice they scheduled the hurricane for August 26, Women’s Equality Day – and that’s the rare triple play in the bird-killing bidness. That Trump sure is an evil bastard, he even made sure to aim the hurricane at Texas, the reddest of red states, to divert the suspicions that would surely come from aiming it at Hillary’s house.

    1. they scheduled the hurricane for August 26, Women’s Equality Day

      and didn’t even have the decency to name it “Harvia”.

      1. Too bad… then it would have only reached 78% the wind speed of a male hurricane.

        1. Damn, just imagine how bad Katrina would have been if it were named Karl!

  10. So you want to shut down legitimate function of the government on the chance undocumented aliens (who aren’t supposed to be in the country) might be caught. OK.

    Why not order cops to stand down during every rallies and protests? Cops sometimes violate civil liberties and illegal aliens might be caught during arrests.

    1. Internal checkpoints are a legitimate function of the government?

      1. Are they unconstitutional?

        1. That is the prevailing view around here.

        2. Since it is a search without probable cause, yes, by definition.

          1. You left out the word that has made lawyers millions, upon millions, of dollars trying to figure out what it means – reasonable.
            If some court, probably SCOTUS, has ruled it reasonable to have checkpoints within a certain distance of the border, then it isn’t unconstitutional.

          2. Didn’t the courts rule that these checkpoints don’t require search warrants?

      2. All government functions are, by definition, legitimate, comrade.

        1. Yes… That crappy “As long as the government is raping everyone equally, no warrant required” ruling.


  11. CBP operates more than 150 interior checkpoints in border zones across the United States. Congress has granted CBP the power to operate with near impunity within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Two out of every three Americans live in border zones, which include, for instance, the entire state of Michigan.

    Absolutely unconstitutional, but no one really cares.

  12. Because an adversary terrorist organization/government would never use a national disaster to infiltrate the U.S. …

  13. Those rat bastards.

  14. Yeah, cuz who can take a “hurricane Harvey” seriously?

  15. Of course interior checkpoints are a violation of the Fourth. But SCOTUS does not agree, and hasn’t done so since 1976:

    http://bit.ly/2wvfmVK

    [Actually the argument used there is very interesting and raises other questions about police stops even when cause is reasonable because it goes to questions of profiling, and the constitutionality of using that as just cause.]

    That said, you have two types that oppose these checkpoints. The first recognises their unconstitutionality but sees them as separate to the open borders/illegal entry debate. The second (which seems to include Reason) conflates the two issues as one. That is, to them, ANY checkpoint, be it at the actual border or within 100 miles of the border is the same thing. This is at best disingenuous and at worst, dishonest, or plain stupid.

    I suspect it’s a combination of all three. The open borders crowd truly believe that any attempt by the government to verify the status of a person attempting to cross INTO the country is a violation of not only multiple constitutional protections but a violation of “natural” law. Apparently anyone can claim the full protections of the US constitution.

    1. The second (which seems to include Reason) conflates the two issues as one. That is, to them, ANY checkpoint, be it at the actual border or within 100 miles of the border is the same thing.

      No, they don’t.

      And while you can be against these checkpoints and not ‘open borders’ (whatever that means to you), I don’t think you can be against these checkpoints and for ‘closed borders.’ That is, if you want less immigration and/or the feds to enforce immigration laws by finding and deporting illegal immigrants, these checkpoints are inevitable.

      1. Yes, yes, I think I have a grasp on anarchist theory.

        Cops chasing bad guys for violent crime will always lead to cops chasing good guys for thought crime. Courts upholding rights will inevitably result in courts violating rights.

        One sip of wine leads to alcoholism. Right?

  16. Both the author and most of the commentators are clueless as to what a border checkpoint is like. I live half a mile from Mexico, and travel through them regularly. They are looking for visitors without proper visas, and for drugs, bombs, unclaimed $$, et cetera. They are a minor inconvenience. The purpose of the BP announcement is to let the drug lords know it’s not going to be a free for all the next few days. You’re also ignorant of geography and weather, as only maybe one checkpoint along the Texas border will be affected by this hurricane.

    1. Another reject steps up to the plate…

      And… a SWING AND A MISS!

      This is about the checkpoint INSIDE of the USA. Primarily the state of Tesxas.

      For the Umpteenth time THERE ARE ICE/BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINTS on internal highways and interstates inside the United States of America.

      EVERYONE is stopped and questioned and potentially searched at these checkpoints. EVERYONE, full stop, period… get a fucking clue.

  17. “…Border Patrol checkpoints will not be closed unless there is a danger to the safety of the traveling public and our agents…”
    I thought the checkpoints were there to increase our safety by the apprehension of those who have illegally entered the country.
    One would think that if the safety of the travelling (Oops, is it allowed to use two “L’s in variations of the word “traveler”?) public is an issue, that these checkpoints would remain open to ensure that everyone was safe. But then, that would require CBP to actually care about OUR safety, instead of their mission of blowing smoke up our backsides.

  18. This story is pointless and stupid. I drive through ICE checkpoints all the time. From Corpus Christi, headed west, the nearest ICE checkpoint will be 700 miles away. This is not an issue and it is not even a big deal. It probably isn’t even raining by the time you get to one of these, since they are about 9-10 hours driving from the evacuation zone. Obama never shut down the checkpoints and his deportations reached record numbers over all previous administrations.

  19. I’m sorry, but aren’t these folks supposed to be in Mexico to begin with?

  20. Please ignore all of the above. The story is completely bogus.

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