November, 2018

Swanton Sector Border Patrol’s Planned Immigration Checkpoints

Statement of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation

In Response to Swanton Sector Border Patrol’s Planned Immigration Checkpoints

In a joint statement, Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) said:  “While we sincerely appreciate the work of the U.S. Border Patrol in keeping our country safe along the Northern Border through their actions to interdict dangerous criminal behavior such as human trafficking, we are concerned to learn of the U.S. Border Patrol’s plans to operate a number of immigration checkpoints in the interior of Vermont.  While these checkpoints will cause needless delays for travelers and hinder commerce between Vermont and Canada, we are not convinced that they will make Vermont or the United States any safer.  Rather, they appear to be another escalation of the Trump Administration’s aggressive yet wasteful use of immigration enforcement resources.  Moreover, we are concerned these interior checkpoints may result in warrantless searches that violate the constitutionally protected Fourth Amendment right to privacy for everyone in our country and will instill fear in our immigrant communities – regardless of an individual’s immigration status.  We believe that inside our country the phrase ‘show me your papers’ does not belong in the United States of America.”

[Background: The three members of the Vermont delegation have introduced or cosponsored the Border Zone Reasonableness Restoration Act of 2018 (S.3162 – H.R.6462), which would reduce the “border zone” in which DHS officers can stop vehicles to search for aliens from 100 miles down to 25 miles, and would reduce the zone in which DHS officers may enter onto private property (except houses) from 25 miles down to 10 miles.  It would also prohibit DHS from stopping a vehicle at dragnet-style immigration checkpoints further than 10 miles from the border, without reasonable suspicion that an occupant is in the U.S. illegally.] 

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CONTACT:

David Carle (w/Leahy): 202-224-3693
Dan McLean (w/Sanders): 802-862-0697
Kate Hamilton  (w/Welch): 202-440-3340