Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rep. Larsen Looks Into Border Patrol 'Spot Checks'

From the San Juan Journal:
Larsen raises questions about spot checks
Apr 27 2008

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Bellingham, forwarded a list of questions to U.S. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar on Thursday as a follow up to a briefing he received in March about citizenship spot checks at the Anacortes ferry terminal.

The questions seek specific information about the effectiveness of the stops, other steps being taken by Border Patrol to protect national security and how Border Patrol is going to accommodate the flood of summer ferry traffic without adversely affecting the county’s economy.

The stops at the ferry terminal have created a controversy among ferry riders and islanders, many of whom complain that they unfairly target San Juan County residents and create both delays and discomfort for locals and may make tourists decide to visit elsewhere. ...(more)

I'm glad to see Congressman Larsen take this up. It really does bring up questions about whether we are sliding down a slippery slope toward becoming a "police state" when Border Patrol Agents are demanding to see people's "papers" when they ride a local ferry.

More about "spot checks":
Border Patrol "spot checks" on ferries provoke outrage in San Juan Islands
By Sara Jean Green - Seattle Times staff reporter

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