Privacy SOS

Video montage reveals resistance to DHS checkpoints in the southwest

You've probably heard by now that the Department of Homeland Security has claimed the authority to interrogate and search people anywhere within 100 miles of a US border, even without suspicion of wrongdoing or warrants. Take a look at the map below to see whether you live in that constitution-free-zone. (Click to enlarge.)

If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey or Rhode Island, you live within the constitution-free-zone. And chances are, if you live in New York, you also live in that zone, along with 97.4 percent of the people in the state.

DHS is asserting — and abusing — this authority with increasing regularity by interrogating people on public streets and trains, and taking their electronics at airports.

In a shocking development you might not know about if you live outside of the southwest United States, the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection has also for years now deployed agents to create roving checkpoints throughout the region, sometimes fifty miles or more from the border with Mexico.

The video below broadcasts some of the more compelling interactions that have resulted from these DHS checkpoints. The YouTube clip has been making the rounds lately on libertarian leaning websites and has hundreds of thousands of views. It isn't hard to see why, both because it highlights inspiringly robust resistance to federal overreach and because of what it reveals about Department of Homeland Security standard operating procedures. The only thing errant about these interactions is that people are resisting the agents' demands.

It's pretty amazing to watch, particularly for those of us outside the southwest. After all, most of us (there are exceptions) haven't been introduced to these roving checkpoints — yet.

Maybe resistance like that depicted in the video below, and ACLU lawsuits challenging DHS' warrantless border interrogations and searches, will succeed — sparing drivers throughout the constitution-free-zone the humiliation.

Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.