We are Chris Rickerd from ACLU National, Miriam Aukerman from ACLU of Michigan, Patrick Eddington from CATO, and Christian Ramirez and Jennifer Johnson from the Southern Border Communities Coalition. We're here to talk about the 100-mile border zone: a vast area extending around the entire United States in which the country’s largest police force, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), claims enormous stop, search, and detention powers.

The government’s 100-mile border zone is a vast area extending around the entire United States. Millions of people who live and work along our nation's borders—from New York to Arizona, Washington State to Texas—are living in increasingly militarized areas where they are stopped, harassed and treated in ways that offend basic notions of freedom and fairness under the U.S. Constitution.

Our nation’s largest police force, U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP), has a troubling track record of constitutional violations, ranging from racial profiling, Fourth Amendment violations and excessive force to entering private property without a warrant and surveillance of border residents’ every move.

The 100-mile zone originated in a statutory change to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) passed in 1946 and a federal regulation interpreting that change issued in 1953--in both instances with little deliberation or review. 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a)(3) addresses CBP officials’ authority to stop and conduct searches on vessels, trains, aircraft, or other vehicles anywhere within “a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States.” Without further statutory guidance, regulations alone expansively define this “reasonable distance” as 100 air miles from any external boundary of the U.S., including coastal boundaries, unless an agency official sets a shorter distance. In this 100 mile zone, CBP has claimed certain extra-constitutional powers. For instance, Border Patrol claims the authority to operate immigration checkpoints that, in practice, serve as a de facto stop and frisk of U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants.

Although Border Patrol agents frequently ignore legal limits on their authority, this zone is not literally “Constitution-free.” We must prevent future civil liberties abuses in the 100-mile zone. This Reddit is dedicated to your questions about what your rights are and how to defend them.

PROOF: • Patrick Eddington https://twitter.com/PGEddington/status/805790909723983873

• Miriam Aukerman https://twitter.com/AukermanACLU/status/805806049370537984

• Chris Rickerd https://twitter.com/ChrisRickerd/status/805806653681631232

• Christian Ramirez https://twitter.com/RamirezUSMEX/status/805835260990623744

• Jennifer Johnson https://twitter.com/SBCCoalition/status/805823455882903552

Comments: 118 • Responses: 6  • Date: 

OverlordQuasar3 karma

What can I, as a college student without the ability to donate, do to support the ACLU's efforts to protect the rights of Americans?

aclu3 karma

Thank you for asking, /r/OverlordQuasar! The first thing you can do is sign up for our list at aclu.org/action, so you can be part of the mobilization when we need you. There also is at least one ACLU affiliate in every state, so reach out to your local affiliate for more ways to get involved on the ground.

And to learn more about getting involved with the Southern Borders Communities Coalition and Cato Institute, go to their websites, (http://southernborder.org/) and (https://www.cato.org/)

aclu3 karma

Also from ‏@Buffaloexpat via Twitter: How do we know if our rights are being infringed on at or near the border? The laws always seem opaque/subjective.

aclu3 karma

From ‏@Buffaloexpat on Twitter:

Under what authority does border security get its power and how is it regulated?

aclu3 karma

Question from Marlin Benson on Facebook:

What about near the border? I can't count how many times I've gone through a border patrol check point and I've only driven into Mexico twice.

LeDelk2 karma

This is a different question, but can I get ACLU member even if I am not from the US?

aclu2 karma

Yes! aclu.org/joinnow

aclu1 karma

Question from ‏@ishgooda on Twitter:

Are other law enforcement agencies granted the same leeway to violate citizen rights in this zone?