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Old 03-18-2015, 09:50 AM   #183
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So I had visions of being stuck in Canada forever!

There are worse places in the world a person could be stuck in
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:36 AM   #184
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The only time I've ever been really upset was going into our neighbors to the north - I just happened to be crossing over when the border guards were having a labor dispute - nothing like being told to get out and come into the building to be questioned...by automatic rifle toting guards not happy about their lot. Once you leave US soil (as you have by the time you get to them asking you anything) it's too late to go back (they let me know this). So I had visions of being stuck in Canada forever! They never once cared to look in the vehicle (I could see out to where I parked it), but asked me all sorts of questions about my past. I knew that they have access to our criminal database, so I didn't hide that I had been arrested (cited and released) a couple times in my late teens for kid stuff (trespass, open container) - which seemed to make them a bit more at ease with me (maybe entertained?). And when coming back into the US later that day, the US guard joked with me about the whole thing after I told him what happened - and he said I did the right thing about fessing up about things long past...best not to lie and get caught doing so because then everything you say becomes suspect. Hopefully that event also steers me should I get stopped while traveling across this great country - although I don't know that local or state agencies have the same high level of access to records, I think it best not to lie about anything, while not volunteering anything more than direct responses to questions.

Just my suggestions on how to behave should this happen to you...and again, great thread! And great posters, even I don't agree with everyone - it's nice to see such passionate responses!
I'm a little surprised about the "gun toting". It must have been someone other than Customs officials because up until recently, 2007 I think and still ongoing, our border officials have been unarmed. And even now, the program of arming still continues but the most lethal thing they have is a Berreta Pistol. No auto rifles. As you said, there was a labour dispute going on so it is possible that they had some fill ins from the military or some such thing.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:01 AM   #185
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I'm a little surprised about the "gun toting". It must have been someone other than Customs officials because up until recently, 2007 I think and still ongoing, our border officials have been unarmed. And even now, the program of arming still continues but the most lethal thing they have is a Berreta Pistol. No auto rifles. As you said, there was a labour dispute going on so it is possible that they had some fill ins from the military or some such thing.
CBSA have been armed for some time now, since 2007

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Old 03-19-2015, 11:38 AM   #186
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CBSA have been armed for some time now, since 2007

Moxy
But no automatic rifles!

Encountered the CBSA a couple weeks ago. After being questioned professionally by the young lady about our stay and goods, she broke into a big smile and said "Welcome Home".

What a great feeling it gave us.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:54 AM   #187
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Well I can only guess it must've been military then - perhaps standing in for striking border guards? But, back to topic...
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:59 AM   #188
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Feds arrest family for ‘refusing to answer questions’

Jus' sayin'
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:20 PM   #189
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The rest of the story - the checkpoint's dogs "hit" on the folks' vehicle, and the driver's refusal to answer a basic question (where are you headed?) raised the level of suspicion to red when combined with the dog's hit. And - they found a testable amount of Marijuana under the driver's seat...

And this from Wikipedia...
"Border Patrol agents at checkpoints have legal authority that agents do not have when patrolling areas away from the border. The United States Supreme Court ruled that Border Patrol agents may stop a vehicle at fixed checkpoints for brief questioning of its occupants even if there is no reason to believe that the particular vehicle contains illegal aliens.[4] The Court further held that Border Patrol agents "have wide discretion" to refer motorists selectively to a secondary inspection area for additional brief questioning.[5] In contrast, the Supreme Court held that Border Patrol agents on roving patrol may stop a vehicle only if they have reasonable suspicion that the vehicle contains aliens who may be illegally in the United States—a higher threshold for stopping and questioning motorists than at checkpoints.[6] The constitutional threshold for searching a vehicle is the same, however, and must be supported by either consent or probable cause, whether in the context of a roving patrol or a checkpoint search"

That particular checkpoint is the one on 86 that I've gone through many times, often with new RVs that I have no idea what might have been in them - and which have PLENTY of places to hide just about anything. I always answer the agents' questions, and so far have not had a dog "hit" on me.

The irony to it all - the CHP eventually decided not to charge the folks (was the driver a card carrying medical MJ smoker? or was it just because the amount was so small?) - we can only speculate but even if he'd politely answered the question, the agents are trained to look for clues the person answering is hiding something by their voice/eyes/reaction and may have pulled them over based on the dog "hit" combined with the driver likely knowing he had MJ under the seat and therefore showing signs he was not being truthful.
I say answering questions is not tantamount to being physically searched - I have no problems telling an agent where I am going...I mean, how many places can you be going on hiway 86 out there?
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #190
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I can only add that had I been the officer there, it would have turned out differently.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:04 PM   #191
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Why didn't the "agent" say his dog had alerted when the driver asked why he was being asked the questions and step out of the vehicle? Courtesy works both ways. In the past, I might have given the "agent" a pass because I would have "assumed" he had a legitimate right and reason but not these days. The "agent" is an ill-mannered bully.[ moderator edit]
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:50 PM   #192
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I can only add that had I been the officer there, it would have turned out differently.


Kenny, could you please elaborate? Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:55 AM   #193
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...the driver's refusal to answer a basic question (where are you headed?) ...
The SCOTUS ruling specifically stated Border Patrol Agents (BPA) at Internal checkpoints can only ask citizenship questions such as "Are you a US citizen" and possibly "Where were your born".

Any other questions such as but not limited to "where you are going", "where do you live", "where are you coming from", "do you have any drugs" or "do you have any weapons in the vehicle" are not allowed.

If you are a US citizen you are NOT required to present any documentation including but not limited to proof of citizenship such as a passport, drivers license, car registration or proof of insurance.

So anytime I go through an Internal Border Checkpoint the only questions I will answer are "Are you a US citizen" and "Where were your born". It's the only questions any US citizen should answer.

OMT, I've heard and seen videos of BPA that would not let a US citizen leave until they provided ID. What they would do is call the local law enforcement, who you are required to show ID to when driving, and the LEO would then hand it to the BPA. This is totally and completely illegal. I would suggest that if this happens you state for the record to the LEO that you do not consent to them showing your documents to the BPA since that's a search and the BPA has NO legal right to them. Hopefully the LEO will comply although they will likely tell the BPA that you have a US address.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:26 AM   #194
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The SCOTUS ruling specifically stated Border Patrol Agents (BPA) at Internal checkpoints can only ask citizenship questions such as "Are you a US citizen" and possibly "Where were your born".

Any other questions such as but not limited to "where you are going", "where do you live", "where are you coming from", "do you have any drugs" or "do you have any weapons in the vehicle" are not allowed.

If you are a US citizen you are NOT required to present any documentation including but not limited to proof of citizenship such as a passport, drivers license, car registration or proof of insurance.

So anytime I go through an Internal Border Checkpoint the only questions I will answer are "Are you a US citizen" and "Where were your born". It's the only questions any US citizen should answer.

OMT, I've heard and seen videos of BPA that would not let a US citizen leave until they provided ID. What they would do is call the local law enforcement, who you are required to show ID to when driving, and the LEO would then hand it to the BPA. This is totally and completely illegal. I would suggest that if this happens you state for the record to the LEO that you do not consent to them showing your documents to the BPA since that's a search and the BPA has NO legal right to them. Hopefully the LEO will comply although they will likely tell the BPA that you have a US address.
I'd be careful assuming your (poster) interpretation of the SCOTUS ruling is how other courts would interpret it. In fact, the permanent checkpoints such as the one on Hwy 86 are allowed a "wide discretion" in referring motorists selectively to a secondary inspection area for further brief questioning.
Like so many things, if indeed you are lucky enough to find yourself being detained more than you think appropriate, ultimately it may fall on your ability and funds to see the case all the way to another ruling on the specifics of your case, since it won't likely be the exact same circumstances as those ruled on previously. As with many such legal issues, there are words that can be defined differently depending on who is doing the defining, and as I have found out personally, ultimately it is the definition of the court that is the final say. I don't have the time in my life to fight such issues, nor do I choose to spend my retirement funds that way. Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars already on attorney fees fighting the gov't I came to the realization that they have staff attorneys who can use tax dollars to fight me longer than I can afford to defend my position. Sad but true...

But perhaps more importantly, the case cited here most recently was driven by a "hit" by a drug sniffing dog - this action has been found to be within the law, and is considered probable cause. (there's a twist that leads to drugs falling under the auspices of border security)
DON'T create or carry anything in your RV that can be discovered through probable cause actions, and you shouldn't have to worry. Not to say you won't be subject to being harassed should you choose to take the stance as suggested by this poster "Timon", but at least should you have the misfortune of having your stop become unfriendly you will have a leg to stand on later in court if you're behaving in a legal manner.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:39 AM   #195
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Durango382, very good points. I might also add that if you do choose to fight in court, depending on the time you have to do your own research, representing yourself & not retaining an attorney might be worthy of consideration. Based on my own observations in Federal Court, at least the judge in my case allowed a ton of legal and procedural leeway for the plaintiff.

That's right, I was the defendant in a alleged First Amendment violation of free speech that ended up in a jury trial. Long story, but I was found not guilty in a unanimous decision. Before the trial, my attorney told me the plaintiff was going to represent himself. I commented that that was a good thing since I believed the man had mental issues. My attorney was quick to correct me, and said that Federal judges take Amendment violations very serious, and actually go out of their way to assist those that choose to represent themselves. Attorneys are bound by rules in court and can be punished quickly and severely if they violate those rules. Self appointees can generally utter things, and expose things to a jury that would never be tolerated by a judge coming from a lawyer.

If you have never been to Federal Court, I suggest everyone take a day and go hear some cases relevant to the issues discussed in this thread. I guarantee it will be an eye opening experience. Try not to do it as a defendant, since even if you are 100% positive you are innocent, sitting in that hot seat is very humbling. And, yes, I did take the stand and answer every question that was asked because I wanted the jury to hear the story from my lips, not my attorneys.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:08 AM   #196
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But perhaps more importantly, the case cited here most recently was driven by a "hit" by a drug sniffing dog - this action has been found to be within the law, and is considered probable cause. (there's a twist that leads to drugs falling under the auspices of border security)
It maybe that there was a "hit" but that was later in the video after they started yanking him out. If you watch the dog they walked down the side they immediately walked back. That's not how they work when they "hit". Normally a hit is shown by the dog going into a sit or something very similar but an any case the dog would stay in the position for several seconds so it's clear there is a "hit". The other issue is that when they found the "drugs" it was at the drivers seat and it was a very small fleck basically dirt size which could have been pickup on the bottom of a shoe. Nothing else was found so with something that small you would expect the hit to be right next to the drivers door not in the back of the vehicle.

I hate to say it, especially since I'm pro law enforcement, but I really believe the "hit" was manufactured as an excuse to cover the search. However, the only way that will be proven is if the BP has videos of the complete area around the cars they search. Videos shot from above the inspection areas should be mandatory at every BP checkpoint to protect both the agents and the public.

I think what really happen in this case is that the BPA started with the wrong question, got mad then he didn't answer, although he did answer the citizenship question posed a few seconds later after they opened his door, an it went down hill from there.

The SCOTUS ruling was quite clear, the BPA is only allowed to make a momentary stop to ask very basic questions about to determine if you're a US citizen. Questions like where you were born would be relevant, if they wanted more then maybe what high school you went to. Those are questions I would likely answer unless they started asking too many of them. Where you are coming from and going to really doesn't give the agent any information if you are a US citizen.

SCOTUS specifically stated that US citizens are NOT required to present papers proving they are US citizens at internal checkpoints although aliens authorized to be here are required to present their green card.

It sound like some here are suggesting we ignore our constitutional rights and answer any questions a BPA asks no matter if it violates the constitution or not. I love to here why we should other than to make it easier for the BPA.

One more thing I'd like everyone to realize. These internal checkpoints are "allowed" within 100 miles of any border. Do you really understand what that means? Let me give you an example:

I live in Southern California about 20 or so miles from the ocean which is considered the "border". Technically the BP could setup a checkpoint on any street in the county. If you were me are you going to knuckle under and accept checkpoints on streets around your home that you have to go through every day and have to keep answering these questions in violation of your unconstitutional rights? The same thing goes for any other state around the outside of the continental US.

So as stated on a previous post, remember the frog in the pot and remember if you don't use it you loose it. However I'll standup for my rights and be proud I'm doing so.
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