Oh look, you’re within the 100 miles

The ACLU explains how Trump and Customs and Border Patrol can get away with this grabbing people off the street thing – how it is actually legal. It’s an eye-opener.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from random and arbitrary stops and searches.

According to the government, however, these basic constitutional principles do not apply fully at our borders. For example, at border crossings (also called “ports of entry”), federal authorities do not need a warrant or even suspicion of wrongdoing to justify conducting what courts have called a “routine search,” such as searching luggage or a vehicle.

But here’s the kicker – the “border” is not just the border.

Even in places far removed from the border, deep into the interior of the country, immigration officials enjoy broad—though not limitless—powers. Specifically, federal regulations give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to operate within 100 miles of any U.S. “external boundary.”

Guess what. It turns out most of us live within 100 miles of any U.S. “external boundary.” I do for instance. I wouldn’t have thought so, but haha joke’s on us, our external boundary here in Seattle is not the Pacific but Puget Sound. Puget Sound! That’s walking distance from here. Down a steep hill, but still walking distance.

Check it out.

Look at that. Chicago, Milwaukee – who thinks of them as border cities? And apparently the border bulges way into California east of the Bay Area because the Bay is another “border.”

The ACLU continues:

In this 100-mile zone, Border Patrol agents have certain additional authorities. For instance, Border Patrol can operate immigration checkpoints.

Border Patrol, nevertheless, cannot pull anyone over without “reasonable suspicion” of an immigration violation or crime (reasonable suspicion is more than just a “hunch”). Similarly, Border Patrol cannot search vehicles in the 100-mile zone without a warrant or “probable cause” (a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances, that an immigration violation or crime has likely occurred).

In practice, Border Patrol agents routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority in the course of individual stops, resulting in violations of the constitutional rights of innocent people. These problems are compounded by inadequate training for Border Patrol agents, a lack of oversight by CBP and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the consistent failure of CBP to hold agents accountable for abuse. No matter what CBP officers and Border Patrol agents think, our Constitution applies throughout the United States, including within this “100-mile border zone.”

The zone that most of us live in. Who knew?

Many people think that border-related policies only impact people living in border towns like El Paso or San Diego. The reality is that Border Patrol’s interior enforcement operations encroach deep into and across the United States, affecting the majority of Americans.

Roughly two-thirds of the United States’ population lives within the 100-mile zone—that is, within 100 miles of a U.S. land or coastal border. That’s about 200 million people.

Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont lie entirely or almost entirely within this area.

Nine of the ten largest U.S. metropolitan areas, as determined by the 2010 Census, also fall within this zone: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and San Jose.

This is very alarming.

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