June 22, 2018

Border Patrol stop cars illegally in Maine

Portland Press Herald  - U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted an 11-hour vehicle checkpoint on Interstate 95 in eastern Maine, stopping southbound vehicles near Lincoln in Penobscot County to ask drivers and passengers for their citizenship and immigration status, and to search vehicles with sniffer dogs.

Agents from the Houlton Border Patrol sector manned the checkpoint, arresting a man from Haiti and seizing drugs. Border Patrol said it didn’t keep track of how many vehicles the agents stopped.

Civil rights groups have sharply criticized the practice of snap immigration inspections on highways and bus stations, and said some of the checks are unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union suspects inspections have become more common during the Trump administration, and in May it sued the U.S. government for records related to immigration enforcement efforts.

“We should all be able to live our lives without being stopped by immigration agents every time we board a bus or drive down the highway,” said Emma Bond, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “Having (Border Patrol) constantly intruding on our lives and demanding that we show our papers doesn’t make us any safer, but it will make us less free.”

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