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Unconstitutional checkpoints


July 02. 2018 9:41PM




To the Editor: Recent immigration checkpoints along I-93 in New Hampshire, as well as along neighboring Maine’s I-95, are an affront to our Live Free or Die values as well as a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.

While Customs and Border Protection has authority to operate within 100 miles of the border, agents do not have the authority to violate the constitutional rights of anyone traveling within our state. Agents must have reasonable suspicion of an immigration violation or crime in order to pull anyone over, and checkpoints, by definition, fail that basic constitutional requirement. Driving on I-93 does not constitute reasonable suspicion of having committed an immigration violation or crime.

Moreover, many reports from these checkpoints clearly show that agents told drivers they were required to answer their questions, and that if they didn’t answer their questions, they would be detained indefinitely. This approach violates our constitutional rights, and is unacceptable here in New Hampshire and anywhere in the United States.

Each and every American has the right to travel anywhere in the United States without harassment by federal law enforcement personnel. We should never have to provide proof or declaration of our citizenship simply to travel within our borders, nor should we have to answer questions from immigration officials without reasonable suspicion of an immigration violation.

No matter what you think about immigration policy, protect your constitutional rights and say “no” to cooperating with unlawful immigration checkpoints within our state.

NATE BERNITZ

Jane Street

Manchester


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