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Are Immigration Checkpoints Legal?

Haroen Calehr May 2, 2016

Title: Are Immigration Checkpoints Legal?
In this video, Haroen Calehr describes the legality of immigration checkpoints in the United States.

Immigration checkpoints by and large have been held to be legal by the Supreme Court but there are some exceptions. If it’s a fixed border checkpoint within 100­miles of the border then they are considered legal. If it’s less than 100 miles, if it’s only 20 miles of the border, then conversely they have said that it’s not considered legal and it’s unconstitutional.

What you have to understand is as a person that’s trying to approach one of these that if you are carrying illicit contraband with you, if you are undocumented then, of course, there is a great likelihood that you are going to get detained and further processed. Because the customs and border patrol people that man these posts they do have the authority to search and seize under the Fourth Amendment. They’ve got dogs that frequently look for drugs, or also humans being smuggled.

When one approaches one of these border checkpoints then it is the equivalent of being at the border and unfortunately, yes, you know, you are subject to searches and seizures and there does not have to be any type of probable cause or reasonable suspicion to do so. Whereas if you’re not at one of these fixed border checkpoints then law enforcement has to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to actually even approach someone and search their private belongings or their person.