Border Patrol Checkpoint Resources
By definition, Border Patrol checkpoints involve the “seizure” of innocent motorists without any suspicion of wrongdoing. It is impossible to reconcile these dragnet stops with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.
Additionally, Border Patrol agents regularly ignore the limitations on their authority at checkpoints, resulting in a range of civil rights violations including unlawful searches, prolonged detention, racial profiling and excessive use of force. Given the persistent lack of agency oversight, many of these abuses are never reported or addressed.
The ACLU is investigating and documenting checkpoint abuses, and fighting to hold Border Patrol accountable. We hope the following information will assist others to do the same.
On January 15, 2014, the ACLU sent a complaint to DHS oversight agencies regarding widespread abuses at Border Patrol interior checkpoints in Arizona.
On April 28, 2014, the ACLU filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain records related to Border Patrol interior checkpoints in Arizona.
Visit the ACLU National site for additional resources and information on your rights in the U.S.-Mexico border zone:
- Are You Living in the Government's "Border" Zone?
- Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents
- Southwest Border Tour Excludes Border Communities
Many news outlets have covered community opposition to a checkpoint outside Arivaca, Arizona:
- Border Patrol Scrutiny Stirs Anger in Arizona Town, The New York Times
- Border Patrol checkpoints stir public backlash, The Arizona Republic/USA Today
- Residents claim racial profiling at Border Patrol checkpoint, Tucson Sentinel