"Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government."
When does a nation cease being a nation? Certainly, one can argue that when a nation fails to maintain the territorial integrity of its borders, the beginning of the end for its own national sovereignty is at hand. However, the issue at hand is not to debate the illegal immigration issue. Subsequently, and more importantly, when does a nation cease being a civilized and productive place for its citizens to live, work and play? Unquestionably, the clear answer to the question is when the rule of law is not universally and equally enforced and law enforcement officials are free to recreate and enforce the law as they see fit.
Presently, the Federal government is seizing upon the country’s collective desire to control our southern border as a pretense to separate Americans from as much of their money as possible and to further erode American civil liberties while fast-tracking the continued implementation of a police state under the guise of immigration enforcement. For example, President Obama has ordered 1,200 National Guard soldiers to Arizona to ostensibly aid in the protection of our southern border. However, these 1,200 troops will do nothing to secure our southern border from the potential threats posed to the United States by the continued onslaught of illegal immigration, the drug cartels and the possible entry of terrorist cells into our unsuspecting communities. Amazingly, these 1,200 troops will not even participate in actual policing activities as they are being relegated to merely providing administrative support (i.e., secretarial duties) for border patrol agents. In effect, Obama is not placing more immigration enforcement boots on the ground as he is falsely suggesting. Obama is using the border enforcement issue as a Trojan horse in order to continue the installation of a totalitarian government bent on the destruction of United States sovereignty, its culture, and most importantly, its time-honored civil liberties.
Are my accusations leveled against this sitting President unfounded? Consider the case of Pastor Steven Anderson and his encounter with border patrol officials last year. Readers may recall Pastor Steven Anderson’s story as he was returning home to Phoenix from a business trip in San Diego, in 2009, in which he was the victim of an illegal search, physical abuse and an unwarranted arrest at the hands of the United States Border Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. While in the custody of the United States Border Patrol, Anderson had his face repeatedly rubbed in broken glass, was repeatedly struck and tasered multiple times simply because he refused to show his “citizenship” papers and for his willful failure to submit to a suspicionless search of his vehicle (1, 2).
After the smoke cleared and 11 stitches were removed from Anderson’s face, he found himself charged with (1) Arizona Revised Statute 13-2906-A (Obstructing a highway or other public thoroughfare (a class 3 misdemeanor); and, (2) Arizona Revised Statute 13-2509-A (Resisting an order directing, regulating or controlling a motor vehicle [which is a class 2 misdemeanor]). What exactly these two alleged offenses had to do with Anderson’s encounter with border patrol agents and the related constitutional issues is baffling and certainly defies all common sense.
On August 13, 2010, Pastor Steven Anderson’s trial came to a speedy conclusion in Arizona Superior Court in Yuma, Arizona. The six person jury deliberated a mere 90 minutes before rendering a not guilty verdict on both counts. Despite Anderson’s not guilty verdict, the Federal government has not yet returned his private property seized in the arrest.
The Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution contain specific prohibitions against unwarranted searches and seizures, unlawful detentions and addresses the general treatment of American citizens while in the custody of law enforcement officials. Yet, increasingly, Americans are being subjected to blatant constitutional violations resulting from the proliferation of these illegal traffic stops.
I can personally attest to the fact that anyone, anytime, can become the victim of an ever-increasing “Papers please” society. On January 3, 2009, at 11pm, while driving back from Yuma, Arizona to my home in the Phoenix area on Interstate 8, I suffered through the same indignity and breach of my constitutional liberties as did Pastor Anderson minus being tasered, beaten and jailed.
Upon approaching the same infamous Interstate 8 checkpoint, which runs east-west, I was initially waived through the checkpoint as I had been over a hundred times before without incident. As I began to pull forward, the agent on the passenger side of my car screamed for me to halt. I was then directed to pull over to a secondary checkpoint location and my passenger and I were ordered to exit the vehicle and sit on the ground.
I asked the arresting border patrol officers why I was being detained. I was told that if I knew what was good for me, I would shut up. I subsequently watched in horror as the Border Patrol drug dog went through my car while presumably searching for narcotics. I did not give permission for these agents to conduct this search. In less than 30 seconds, the search was over and I was told that my companion and I were free to go. Again, I demanded to know what probable cause provoked my detention and the unwarranted and illegal search of my vehicle to which a Border patrol officer replied “I needed to get my companion and I back into my car and be on our way “before we were treated to an interesting night." It was at that moment that I realized I had just been physically threatened by a Federal official for merely asserting my constitutional rights.
I find it curious that so many of these border checkpoints lie on roads and highways that run east and west rather than on the north-south routes needed by illegal migrants to enter into the United States. It is also puzzling as to why so many border checkpoints are a hundred miles or more north of the border. The presence of these checkpoints is, in effect, creating constitutional free zones within the borders of the United States. As is the case with most governmental crimes against its citizens, the true motivation for these acts is hidden within the money trail.
It is not surprising that law enforcement traffic checkpoints, in general, are growing exponentially in this country as the checkpoint business is proving to be a very profitable criminal enterprise being perpetrated by federal, state and local officials. How much money does the United States Border Patrol rake in as a result of these checkpoints and the accompanying seizures and what is the final resting point for these seized assets? At this point in time, it is not possible to answer these questions because this agency did not respond to a series of FOIA’s which requested the amount of seizures, the amount of revenue derived from this activity, and the uses for the revenue that this agency realizes from these unwarranted traffic stops, detentions and seizures of automobiles associated with the suspected transport of illegal aliens and illegal substances. Common sense and strong anecdotal evidence would suggest the amount of money being extorted from Americans is astronomical. However, until the United States Border Patrol publicly reveals the true value of assets that they actually seize each year, one can only guess how much money is involved. The canary in the mine for this highly questionable practice may lie in California. Last year in California, cities and tow firms generated an incredible $42,158,714 resulting from seizures associated with suspicionless vehicle stops, subsequent impoundments and seizure of assets (3, 4).
The checkpoint business is so lucrative that even common criminals are getting into the act while they masquerade as law enforcement officials in an attempt to stop, rob and terrorize innocent citizens. Earlier this year, two Houston women barely escaped a mock suspicionless traffic checkpoint with their lives but not before they were assaulted after the windows on their automobile had been broken out (5).
The Supreme Court has clearly ruled that the aforementioned practices are clearly unconstitutional as the court stated, "...We have held that checkpoint searches are constitutional only if justified by consent or probable cause to search....And our holding today is limited to the type of stops described in this opinion. -'Any further detention. . . must be based on consent or probable cause.'" (6)
It is also interesting to note the hypocritical position of the Obama administration in its opposition to Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration bill citing the potential for racial profiling while at the same time; this same administration encourages the profiling of innocent and unsuspecting citizens at suspicionless checkpoints throughout the Southwestern United States.
Readers may ask how I can accurately assert that the United States Border Patrol is a criminal enterprise operation. Please consider the following analogy. The infamous Tony Soprano opens a pizzeria to launder money for his drug operation. Does the establishment actually sell a few pizzas? Yes it does, but the lion’s share of the real revenue is derived from his illegal activities as his business establishment attempts to shield the real source of Soprano’s income from the government. If the Fed’s turn their suspicious eyes upon Soprano’s pizzeria, Soprano would undoubtedly attempt to sell more pizza in order to obscure the amount of revenue derived from his true economic activities. Along this vein, does the United States Border Patrol actually apprehend illegal aliens? Of course, but they do not apprehend enough illegal aliens to make any real difference with regard to the trend curve associated with the problem. When the American people turn their eyes upon the border patrol, as they are today, they make a few more arrests of illegal aliens in the same manner that motivates Soprano to sell a few more pizzas when the Fed’s turn up the heat. However, the real value of border patrol enforcement, to the present federal administration does not lie in immigration enforcement, but it is rooted in the systematic removal of constitutional liberties and the seizure of an untold amount of assets of American citizens. This begs the question, whose agenda is being carried out by the United States Border Patrol?
The answer to the immigration problem does not lie in the Federal government’s enforcement of our immigration laws. The Federal government has no interest in enforcing the integrity of its borders, even in a post 9/11 world. True border enforcement would be counterproductive to the government’s politicians and their corporate benefactors which derive significant benefit from cheap, off the books illegal alien labor. Americans need to wake up to the fact, that for the time being, the citizens of this country have lost control over Washington DC. Does any reasonable and self-aware person truly believe that the November elections will make any real difference to this issue or any other issue of national importance even as the American voters prepare to once again swing the political pendulum from the D’s to the R’s? If you still have faith in our national political process, please speak with me in December.
Ultimately, it is up to the Sheriff in each county, and to the highway patrol of the border states to simply refuse to arrest people like Pastor Steven Anderson who do not cooperate with these illegal law enforcement practices being perpetrated by border patrol officials. In fact, state officials would be within their rights to arrest and prosecute border patrol agents who knowingly violate the constitutional rights of American citizens within the local jurisdictions of these local law enforcement officials.
The Federal government was created as a result of an action by the States and as such, the States can legitimately choose to not support law enforcement practices which are not in line with the United States Constitution. The eradication of the illegal immigration problem is a topic for another discussion. Americans have a more pressing issue, how do we as a people preserve what is left of our Fourth and Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution by forcing our Federal law enforcement officials to obey the rule of law?
On a larger scale, suspicionless checkpoints constitute one more dot in a series of connecting dots in the elite’s planned takeover and subsequent subjugation of this country. It is not possible to correct a problem unless it is fully and accurately defined. It is in this spirit that we need to admit the grim fact that our Constitutional form of government, at least for the moment, has been obliterated and this destruction continues unabated by those powers who seek to benefit from the demise of our Republic form democracy.
In our moments of private self-reflection, we desperately need to ask ourselves at what point will you collectively draw the final line against these relentless abuses being engineered by the Federal government.
(1) Anderson, S. Baptist Pastor Beaten Tazed by Border Patrol - 11 stitches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUzd7G875Hc
(2) United States Border Patrol Video Footage of Steven Anderson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVMZUgmrJrk&feature=related
(3) UC Berkeley Reporters Reveal How They Proved DUI Checkpoints Are All About the Cash. http://www.ocduiblog.com/2010/02/uc-berkeley-reporters-reveal-how-they-proved-dui-checkpoints-are-all-about-the-cash/
(4) Sobriety Checkpoints Don’t Catch Drunk Drivers, but Result In Pure Profit for Police Agencies. http://www.ocduiblog.com/2010/02/sobriety-checkpoints-dont-catch-drunk-drivers-but-result-in-pure-profit-for-police-agencies/
(5) Wiley, J. Houston Women Assaulted at Fake Roadblock (KTRK TV, April 2010) http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7426903
(6) United States Supreme Court: UNITED STATES v. MARTINEZ-FUERTE, 428 U.S. 543 (1976) 428 U.S. 543 No. 74-1560. Argued April 26, 1976: Decided July 6, 1976