The First Word in “Border Patrol” is — “BORDER”
I live near the Canadian border. In fact I can see Vancouver Island (British Columbia) from my house. According to some people, that makes me a foreign policy expert. But I digress…
The Border Patrol has a strong presence here, since we’re at an international border. That’s fine. But lately the Border Patrol has been holding highway checkpoints far, far away from the Canadian border.
This has been pissing off a lot of people. It’s by far the most divisive issue in this area. The local paper is full of letters to the editor, pro and con. I've done several posts about it at my local blog, and they’ve drawn more comments than every other local issue put together.
There's a strong need to protect the border — no argument there. In 1999 an Algerian terrorist was intercepted at the border here. This was two years before the September 11th attacks.
But at these highway checkpoints, they aren't just looking for terrorists and illegal aliens, even though that’s their stated purpose. They’ve also been arresting people for drug possession, among other things. One person was arrested for possession of medical marijuana. He had a prescription that was legal in the State of Washington but in violation of federal law. Again, this arrest took place miles and miles from the Canadian border. What the fuck does this have to do with terrorism and illegal immigration?
Unless there's something unique about this area, I’m guessing this same issue is raging among millions of Americans who live near the Canadian and Mexican borders.
What do you think about this? Are these Border Patrol highway checkpoints making us safer? Or is this just another back door for Big Brother to invade everybody’s private life?
cross-posted at Bring It On!