Friday, May 17, 2013

Border Patrol Checkpoints: The border communities want them.

If you are one of those people who try to act tough or want to make a U-tube video of you or your car mate arguing with a US Border Patrol agent, do us all a favor and read this post.

First off,  I am not going to cite rules and federal regulations, you quasi lawyers can do that,

The reason we have these checkpoints is so we can have a more open flow of trade and people within the border communities.  The checkpoints are what allows Mexican citizens to cross using a border crossing card.  They allow Mexican citizens the ability to cross without going through the visa application and approval process.  The border crossing cards are much more convenient.  Take away the checkpoints, and everyone who wishes to cross into the United States would be required to obtain a visa before entering the US at the bridges.

Of course Mexico would retaliate and introduce the same requirements, no US citizens could enter without a visa.  If you live in a border town you understand the chaos this would cause at the bridges.

So for you geniuses who are in line at a border patrol checkpoint and refuse to answer whether you are a US citizen or not, please quit.  You do nothing but cause the lines to be delayed.  And you are making a useless protest against a process that the people who are most affected want in place.

What say you?


  1. Well, but you would think that visitors from Mexico have already gone through the checkpoint process at the international bridges. I can see how travelers on commercial buses would have to present an ID to Border Patrol because you have individuals who might've bypassed some safeguard process.

    You getting upset that somebody impedes the flow of traffic at the checkpoints might give us a clue about why these confrontations are taking place. Customs officials and BP agents work to protect the border, and they play a part in the flow of trade and traffic, but to Laredoans, sometimes, they are viewed as just another obstacle, a nuissance, if you will, that we have to put up with.

    We not only have to wait in line, we have to explain ourselves as to where we're going, where we were born, and if we have anything to declare. With a certain tone, it all comes across as accusatory on the part of the agent.

    It's a way of life down here, I understand, but the last thing we want is attitude from a customs official or a BP agent. The driver who stopped the flow of traffic the other day might've been an asshole to begin with. But if somebody is giving you attitude, it might be a reflection of the attitude you're putting out there.

  2. I agree with most of what you are saying KR. However, those folks from Mexico that cross using a "border crossing" card are not allowed to travel beyond the checkpoints without first getting a visa.

    This is why we have checkpoints, as a accommodation to border communities that want somewhat free cross border trade.

    I know several BP agents, some can be a pain, but some are very nice until the attitude comes out. Having someone shove a cellphone while recording you in your face and telling you they do not have to claim their citizenship just so they can post a video on U Tube may make them mad.

    Again, if we want to eliminate the checkpoints, ask Congressman Cuellar to eliminate the border crossing cards and all immigration checks will take place at the border.

    It does not bother me either way.

  3. Like Mexico we have a visa requirement certain mileage from the border. Professionalism is a must by agents but courtesy is a two way street. It's an officer safety issue when posting photos on the internet (just a thought).

    Engaging a conversation with people at the checkpoint serves multiple purposes aside from being friendly. Sometimes a story just doesn't quite fit. Just answer yes or no to citizenship and if not just show your travel documents (that aren't altered, fake, stolen).

    Just remember the Ports of Entry into the U.S. and Checkpoints serve different purposes.

    Now on another note how many people from Laredo hire BCC holders as maids, gardeners, warehouses etc? These cardholders aren't allowed to work in the U.S. Thought I would throw that out. How many are domiciled here too?

  4. Speaking of a timely post, and I take no credit for the timing, a poor truck driver was arrested for blocking the checkpoint last night. Read LMT story. Bet he wishes he had not listened to the quasi lawyer types on U Tube.

    But Anon, you bring up a good point. The very people who complain about the checkpoints, at least some of them, use maids, employees, gardeners, shoppers, and others who would not be crossing if it were not for the border crossing cards.

  5. I hate to say this, but this will continue to be an ongoing battle for a long time to come. You will always have those that are for enforcing federal law and those who wish to defy it. My opinion, let the agents do their job and carry on to your destination. I agree with Anonymous that checkpoints serve multiple purposes. I don't believe there is an undertone of prejudice or discrimination when the government imposes these standards. Yes, I sound like a government crony with such statement, but I prefer public safety and the adherence of law than disorder. My gripe is that I do not understand where all this publicity over checkpoints came from. I've lived here most of my life and heard little about this being a problem before the advent of youtube. It seems more of a notoriety thing for young people than an actual legitimate complaint on the loss of constitutional rights. Hope I don't stir up would-be lawyers with my comments.

  6. As an Anglo female from elsewhere, one who has lived in Laredo for 10 years and counting, and one who values democracy--and respectful treatment from others--I would like to add that although I have little problem, in theory, with the checkpoints, I DO have a problem with how I am treated 1. when my husband is with me versus 2. when I am alone. When I travel through a checkpoint on my own, I am questioned much further, and treated suspiciously, and sometimes rather rudely. However, add Anglo husband to car, WE are asked one question: "American citizens?" We both say "yes," and, generally, are waved on with a friendly smile. However, when I am alone, it is, oftentimes, an entirely different story, one that includes excessive questioning, additional time, suspicious stares, and, too, attempts at engaging me in "flirting" with the Border Patrol Officer. In short, it frightens me, and I now dread these checkpoints--unless I am with my husband. Why, I ask, do I receive entirely different treatment with one additional person, a male, in the car?

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