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Video: DHS Checkpoints. Ask: “Am I Being Detained?”

Written by Gary North on February 28, 2013

Department of Homeland Security stops drivers who refuse to be questioned. These checkpoints were 50 miles from the border.

They have no probable cause. They have no warrants. But they have badges. And they have attitude.

Think of Alabama in 1960. Think these words: “Look here, boy.”

Same profession. Same pool of job applicants. Same IQ. Same attitude.

The DHS is extending its authority. It will do so until it is told by the Supreme Court to cease, or until its budget is cut.

The more people there are on the DHS payroll, the faster existing managers get promoted. The DHS will therefore expand its jurisdiction until it is told to stop.

Here is a question to respond: “Am I being detained?”

Over and over, he answers: “Am I being detained?”

Or this: “I do not have to answer my question.”

Or these words: “Reasonable suspicion.”

Or this: “May I travel down the road?”

One officer asked that he turn off the camera. He refused.

The officers verbally pushed and pushed. But they could not do anything. But they still pushed. They don’t like back talk. They don’t like the law. They like cooperation. They usually get it.

“Do I have to get out of the car?” The driver was polite. He just refused to get out of the car.

“Am I being detained?”

Then he invoked the fourth amendment.

Note: The California checkpoint is legal. They have had fruit-checking for 80 years. They can keep you out of California if you do not let them inspect your vehicle. Cooperate.

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54 thoughts on “Video: DHS Checkpoints. Ask: “Am I Being Detained?”

  1. Jackspraat says:

    Right on! We must stop this gestopo action immediately. Illegal search and ceasure without probable cause is still illegal the last time I checked.

  2. you cannot be stopped or detained on suspicion only, suspicion only gives law enforcement the right to watch you until you break a law. they need probable cause which is actual proof and/or knowledge that a crime has been committed. police usually don't care and will illegally stop you for suspicion because they know they can get away with it. if you don't exercise your rights you will lose your rights. if the police have a valid probable cause then cooperate if not then tell them that they are violating your 4th amendment rights and that you are taking their name and badge number and filing a complaint against them. i have done this many times, they don't like it but i don't care. i care that they are violating my rights and will not let them get away with it.

  3. they also can only pat you down for weapons to insure their safety during a stop. they cannot search you for drugs or anything else like large amounts of cash. just because you have something in your pocket that feels like cash or a bag of drugs does not give them the right to check it. i often carry large amounts of cash when i go out looking for project cars and bikes and antiques/collectables and have been harassed and accused of being a drug dealer.

  4. Fred Campbell says:

    This article is rambling and somewhat inane. What is the point?

    Checkpoints for various reasons have, unfortunately, become "legal". Many of them (see "fruit inspection") have outlived their utility.

    The current fad (at least in the southwest) is to search for "illegals". Recently I saw about 50 cars backed up at the CA/AZ border (I-10) to be "inspected". I suspect that they were checking the papers of "Latinos" (we were not hassled as we were clearly Nordic).
    Do I object to this? Hell yes. There are better (and less abusive) ways to handle the illegal immigrant problem. The SSA could do much to screen for illegal workers. Apparently the SSA has been directed to avoid a) checking either for fraudulent SSNs or b) the screening of applicants.

    There is something corrupting about the power that comes with the wearing a badge. As a "free" people we must be forever on guard against the abuse of this power. Power does corrupt.

  5. I often travel to McAllen TX where my church is. On the way back, there are border checkpoints on both highways 281 and 77. In reality, the checkpoints don't check for illegal immigrants – there is a 20 mi stretch of wilderness between the two checkpoints, and there is another 100 mi stretch of wilderness west of Hwy 281 where there is nothing, no towns, no ranches, just nothing. Whoever is importing immigrants, can drive up to a mile before the checkpoint, drop them there, they can walk up two miles through the wilderness on either side of the checkpoint, and he can pick them up again at the rest area a mile north of the checkpoint. The checkpoint is like a gate in an open field.

    The checkpoints are there for the specific purpose to harass law-abiding citizens.

  6. awkingsley says:

    The problem with this situation is that they are not deporting illegal aliens anyway, so why are we paying for a Border Patrol checkpoint? No self-respecting illegal alien would get caught at the checkpoint. Fruit checkpoints might still be valid if there is some sort of virus or new infestation in Texas or Florida fruit that could be imported to California, but even that seems a little far fetched today.

  7. I grew up in Las Cruces, NM. There were also checkpoints on US-70 between Las Cruces and Alamogordo (in the middle of the White Sands Missile Range) and between Truth or Consequences, NM and Socorro, NM on I-25. Both in the middle of nowhere.

  8. The smell and noise of battle, By God I love it so

  9. I disagree. Wait until TSA sets up a checkpoint under the pretense of 'checking for illegals'. This bullying is to build compliance with the American sheeple. We have guaranteed constitutional rights as citizens. Just what will be your attitude when TSA uses some internal inspection to make sure you're not carrying an intestinal bomb or a breast implant bomb, which have been used to carry out acts of terrorism? 'They're just trying to protect us when they do body cavity checks!' Seriously, mri, xray, or some other internal scanner? Don't poopoo it, it can happen. Our country is marching down the road to this type of abuse of it's citizens. Oh, it's interesting that in the news they reported that there were hundreds of illegals being released, either to force Obama's budget or to tweak the noses of those of us that DO expect deportation of illegals. This type of cr#p (in the video) doesn't accomplish squat, except to tick off the people who care about the abuse of their rights as citizens.

  10. Is there any legal reason, other than “they don’t have to”, that the people under interrogation do not admit that they are US citizens? If they cooperate and say that they are, does this give the officers the legal right to “demand their papers”, and then search their vehicle or detain them further if they refuse? Is there a important legal reason to not cooperate at all in a situation like this? Just curious.

  11. Au contraire! From Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead: http://lewrockwell.com/whitehead/whitehead73.1.ht

    "In April 2012, a divided Supreme Court ruled in Florence v. Burlington that any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house, regardless of the severity of his or her offense (i.e., they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense), can be subjected to a strip search by police or jail officials, which involves exposing the genitals and the buttocks.

    "This 'license to probe' is being extended to roadside stops, as police officers throughout the country have begun performing roadside strip searches without any evidence of wrongdoing and without a warrant. For example, Angel Dobbs and her niece, who were pulled over by a Texas state trooper on July 13, 2012, allegedly for flicking cigarette butts out of the car window, were subjected to roadside cavity searches of their anus and vagina. The officer claimed to be searching for marijuana. No marijuana was found."

  12. IamaproudAmerican says:

    About 50 miles from the Mexican border in California there are secondary checkpoints that every car must go through. The only time I had problem was when my car was really dirty and the border agent asked me where I was born. I have a definite American accent, so that didn't take long. I've seen vehicles pulled out of line, vehicles being searched and dogs used to check out them out. I've also seen border patrol agents pull over other cars on roads away from the checkpoints and put people in handcuffs.
    We have drug cartels that use our roads and criminals that pack vehicles with illegals to transport them over the border for a fee. This is reality here, the rest of America doesn't understand what we deal with.

  13. Yes, the reason is if your American U have rights

  14. I consider myself to be a strong proponent of the Constitution.However,it is well known that our southern border is a sieve.Just asking someone if they are a citizen at a checkpoint doesnt seem to violate any of their rights.They arent even asking for a valid id.The border patrol is already hamstrung by the idiots in D.C. and it has to be a terrible job.If they arent even allowed to ask the status of your citizenship if you are coming to a checkpoint presumably from the south in a dusty vech how are they ever going to catch any wetbacks ?? I do understand The illegal search and seizure or detainment aspect but give these Border Patrol officers a break ! Most sane people want a secure border and want to let the Border Patrol do their jobs.Would someone answer me how they can perform their job without checkpoints?? If the checkpoint was in Iowa or someplace inland Id have a problem but they are very near one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

  15. The Department of Homeland Security is a CRIMINAL organization working for a CRIMINAL out of control White House , they are stupid , ignorant , and most of all , totally unconstitutional , I will never drive near any border , or fly , or do anything else that might put me in a situation where I have to deal with that filthy criminal trash .

  16. Your "However" just invalidated you as a strong proponent of the Constitution.

  17. There are boarder check points 30 miles inside the US. I know, I’ve been through them many times even though I didn’t leave the US.

  18. Jack Mieoph says:

    and do you think "just asking someone if they are a citizen" and waiving them through is an effective way to secure the border?

    Chicago is a pretty dangerous town these days. Do you think the Chicago cops should be able to randomly stop people and ask if they're criminals?

  19. I agree!

  20. Obama and EVERYONE in his administration MUST be Impeached, prosecuted and EXECUTED!!!

  21. Carl Long says:

    I dont get why they would be doing these Illegal Checkpoint inside our Border? They just released 500 Criminals in Arizona and now they are checking for citizenship 30 miles across the next Border?? WTF is going on in AMerica!

    Someone needs to call 911 and get them arrested for this.

  22. WesTexan says:

    If you act like sheep, the government will treat you like sheep. If you act like a citizen with Constitutional rights, you might make them angry, but they will not treat you like sheep. Most of the time, they will back down.

    This is a conditioning process. Every roadblock and every checkpoint is part of the conditioning. They want us to expect to get stopped and take the easy way out by complying with their interrogations. As this conditioning gains momentum, the government thugs will be more and more invasive. If you are not willing to resist these injustices, your lack of action will have negative consequences for all of us.

    You don't have to yell and scream. Just politely refuse to comply—and reference the Constitution. I doubt that most of these thugs have even read the Constitution. This article is not complicated, but it is very practical.

  23. nuffsnuff says:

    really???!!! is there really someone left in this God-forsaken (literally) crap hole of a once-great country who hasn't seen enough youtube or local news vids of cops brutalizing the hell out of absolutely everyone to keep spouting the "if the cops are f***ing you over, then you musta did sump ta deeserve it" bullshit?!! the checkpoints are 50 or 60 mile INSIDE the g'damned border!! you don't have to have been outside the U.S. to encounter them!! cops are off the chart out of control and part of the reason they are is because of bootlicking dipshits like yourself. Past time for everyone to stand up for each other and put an end to this outrage.

  24. ccfonten says:

    I don't have a problem with being asked if I am an American. And going through the check points as most of them have been there for years. And most are manned by honest men and women just trying to do a trying job.
    What bothers the heck out of me is that Big Sis Napolitano has let thousands of criminal illegals go free BEFORE sequestration hit (it "hit" with a soft thud….kinda like a rotten tomato hitting the pavement). If DHS was serious about border security, they'd be out there linked arm in arm with land mines, RPG's, tanks, a moat filled with alligators and those nasty little carnivorous fish from the Amazon…………..to PREVENT and boot OUT any illegals.
    This whole thing sickens me with DHS.

  25. That's what Mayor Bloomberg's administration has been doing for years in New York City. They target the usual suspects. Guess what? It works!

  26. Interesting! I'd be willing to bet that most (if not all) of the people that are screaming about Nazi checkpoints and rights of citizens, are the very same people that are screaming for border security. So how do YOU expect border agents to do their job, if they can't even ask simple questions?

    These incidents were clearly staged, and clearly intended to belittle the agents/officers, and make a point. But a side note here is that, now those people that are crossing the border illegally, have been given an instructional video on another way to beat our immigration system. Thanks!

    There certainly is need for the Bill of Rights to be honored, respected, and protected. But how much of a person's rights are being violated by asking them to answer whether they are a citizen or not? Seems pretty innocent and simple to me. But if one is looking to start a fight, I guess refusing to be proud enough to announce that you are an American is one way to start one.

  27. snuggles says:

    That's nothing. Have you been stopped at a DUI checkpoint yet?

  28. snuggles says:

    If they were actually checking for illegals…and then actually arresting the ones they found, I would put up with the checkpoints. But they aren't and theydon't

  29. I have to ask, you know this how? What do they do when they get someone who admits that they are not a citizen? What do they do when an illegal is found? Don't get me wrong on this now, I'm against the illegal, unconstitutional actions of most of our law enforcement agencies.

    BUT! Where in this report or on this video do we see how these agents deal with someone found to be illegal? And is harassing someone doing their job really that necessary. We know their hands are tied by obama and his liberal mental midgets, but do we take it out on those people doing what they are told they can do in order to get a check and feed their family?

    If one were to do some research, I'd bet that those making these videos are the same people that are in the OWS movement. They are anti-everything, and certainly are not concerned about stopping illegals or protecting your rights… They are simply pushing their agenda.

  30. Does anyone realize that most of theseagents have accents that are not english.

  31. I understand the 4th Amendment and the rights we have as US citizens. I don't like to be harrassed either, however, we are being overrun by illegal aliens and refusing to answer the questions is only making it harder for Border Patrol to do their job of apprehending illegal border jumpers. I would refuse to be harrassed, but it is much easier to just answer a few simple questions and be on your way. What the TSA does at airports is far worse.

  32. Michael Lopez says:

    the real problem with this video is that the cops could not articulate any law, local, county, state, or federal that gives them the right to ask for citizenship status. If they could just do that, then they would have been within their rights to say they were detaining. They were so afraid to say yes, they were detaining, that they backed off. Stupid cops. That is why, when I was a cop, I always knew my municipal code as well as the penal code. So, if I got sued, I was completely protected from prosecution. then, if you don't like the law or think it is unconstitutional, you can sue the governmental agency of jurisdiction. But these cops were dumb and couldn't articulate anything.

  33. Michael Lopez says:

    Stupid cops always blow the case. This video clearly demonstrates that.

  34. You talk out of both sides of your mouth, saying you are against "obama and his liberal mental midgets" but then condemning those opposed to his and his administration's destruction of our constitutional rights, as evidenced in these and MANY other videos and testimonies. That makes it hard to believe anything you say. It's your attitude of "I'll bet this" and "I'll bet that" (and statements of "fact" that you can't possibly know, ie, that these were "staged"), that becomes the attitude of those making up and enforcing their own (unconstitutional) laws that then slowly supercedes the real laws of the land. Are you by chance an "officer of the law?" You must realize that there are good and bad cops; law officers that care about people and those that don't give a shit about them; public servants that want to serve and others that simply love the feel of power and use it to abuse; intelligent agents and idiots. That's why they don't get to determine what is the law and what is not. That is why they are UNDER the law.

    The Law doesn't "bet"…it either KNOWS, eg, has some significant evidence for stopping a person or detaining them or searching them, or it DOESN'T know, at which point stopping, detaining, and searching are ILLEGAL, ie, AGAINST the law. It's not a matter of simply "hassling" or "belittling" officers or agents. It's a matter of of their belittling the actual laws b/c they're "betting" that maybe they can "do it better" than the law…ie, are above the law. That's how the laws become nothing and the whims of the politician or of law-enforcement agents/agencies become everything. The process always begins "innocently" enough. We're WAY past innocently now.

    And that is why the development of "black ops" and even groups like the TSA that are basically outside the law becomes more and more "necessary" as a govt grows more and more powerful and suspicious of its people finding out that it only wants to control them for its own good, not for theirs. The govt of this country was to be UNDER the people, not over them. Unfortunately, I don't see this country going back to that without a major collapse or revolution. More likely this country will become more and more a dictatorial police state…and we'll look back at the stuff they do now and consider it "innocent" compared to what it will likely become. We're looking at the evolution of a full police state. Resistance isn't only necessary, if there is ANY chance of stopping it, but patriotic.

  35. But it’s not ‘at the border.’ These are internal checkpoints. When I’m inside of the United States, my right to move freely is protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, SCOTUS has already allowed unconstitutional DUI checkpoints (Chief Justice Rehnquist even admitted in the majority decision that they don’t meet the standards of 4th Amendment, but were allowed because they contributed overwhelmingly to the ‘Greater Good.’ How long before ICE can legally demand ID with no probable cause, or even articulated suspicion? For the ‘Greater Good?’

  36. RangerInParadise says:

    Some people seem to have no problem with these random harassments. The DHS is simply accustoming us all to dictatorial conduct. It won't get better, it will gradually expand till "Papers please" is as common as "pass the salt please".

    Ok, you find justification for random highway checkpoints. Now find justification for a DHS raid on a high school prom hundreds of miles from any border or sensitive facility. There is none. Except as a method of slowly turning up the heat.

    YOU asked for it, you got it. Now stop your whining.

  37. These checkpoints have been active ever since I can remember. I grew up in South Texas and I lived there ever since 1966 and these checkpoints have been operating, at least, since then. They are looking for illegal aliens and drug smugglers. They have seized millions of tons of illegal drugs and arrested millions of illegal aliens during the time they have been operating. I can’t even count the times I've driven through the checkpoint at Falfurious, Texas. All you have to do is say you’re an American citizen, which is something I happen to be quite proud of and I have no problem saying so. As much as I despise Obama, he is not responsible for this. Here is an interesting article on the history of the US Border Patrol: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border

  38. Apparently the SSA isn't doing much screening…look at the illegal, ineligible Kenyan in OUR White House ! Yeah , the one with the forged birth certificate and the fraudulent SS#…yeah, they're doing a GREAT job !!!

  39. The patrol officers are only doing there job. They are trying to protect our country, which I am thankful for. It's to bad that they have low life like this making their job harder for them. Is it really that hard to answer a few questions? There is no respect for athority any more. Remember 911? We never want anything like that to happen again.

  40. They don't know that they are American. That is the whole reason for the checkpoint.

  41. This checkpoint is about 60 miles inside of the US. Read up on the part of Arizona the Gov is telling you to stay out of because of IILEGAl alien and drug taffic that the FEDS wont let Arizona solve.

  42. They want YOU to get used to "checkpoints" ya know like Hitler Germany.

  43. Yes its called the CONSTITUTION . Read the constitution and discover YOUR rights.
    4TH Amendmant.
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  44. How about they move the checkpoint to within 5 feet of the border? Then ask the question as the people come over.

  45. Mutantone says:

    Hell I wish they would just do that for the elections.

  46. Cap.America says:

    well do you know that they take your photo as you drive by? In both directions!You need too stop whining and do something about it,or it will never stop!The BP are just doing there job it is the ass holes in the gov.That tell them to do it.

  47. @afc; Show me where I condemnened someone!

    So you're saying it's a violation of an American's "Rights" to ask them if they are an American citizen?

    So what is your solution to allow the border patrol to catch illegals without asking questions or searching vehicles?

    You spoke volumes of your own personal opinions and assumptions, yet where is YOUR solution to this situation.

    I never asserted the "law" bet on anything. I wrote "I'd be willing to bet that most (if not all) of the people that are screaming about Nazi checkpoints and rights of citizens, are the very same people that are screaming for border security." Well are you? Are you screaming for border security out of one side of YOUR mouth and then screaming against the actions taken to protect the border out of the other side? Again, I'll bet YOU are.

  48. If these weren't staged why is it the same people are stopped over and over and over again? The answer is simple. They broke out their camera and kept going through checkpoints in order to film these confrontations. They set these up, and if you can't see that, then you don't want to see.

  49. This action is to "nudge" Americans into accepting this behavior and giving up our Contitutional rights, making it normal. Just like today, it is normal to ALLOW your wife and children to be groped or virtually strip searched at the airport…

  50. Beepster says:

    Uhh, the policeman (woman who did the cavity search), not DPS trooper, has been fired, along with the policeman (male) who called in the policewoman to do the cavity search. They aren't getting away with cavity searches on the roadways, in full view of the passing public. As you pointed out, they can do cavity searches in the proper environment (private room at jail). To do a cavity search there HAS to be probable cause and ordered by a judge.

  51. Beepster says:

    California "fruit inspections"!!! Now, that's a real misnomer. Actually, I think this is strictly state, run by state law. Have no idea if ever court-challenged, but it was in effect the first time I visited Califruitland in 1947. Arizona sometimes runs them competition, just to be cantankerous. What they are "trying" to say is: "Ya ain't a'comin' into California without making a declaration of 'yes/no' to having fruit."

  52. At the botom of the article there is a statement about thre fruit check. Yes CA has had a fruit check by asking if you are bringing fruit into CA. The check point just asked, personal would tell you that you could not bring this or that into CA. None of these rude pushy unconstitutional actions that are on utube,on the tv news and talked about via word of mouth. No matter if you are an inch on our soil and you are a US citizen you still have all of your constitutional god given rights don't give these rights up to anyone no matter what dolt approches you.

  53. MF Burbaugh says:

    Fruit check? By DHS? Get real. That is only covered by the Depts of Agriculture, and Customs. Don't give up your rights or they are lost forever.