Arizona Engineer Challenges “Constitution-Free” Border Checkpoints After Being Stopped 400 Times

By Aaron Kesel

A lawsuit filed by University of Arizona engineer Terry Bressi is the latest round in an ongoing battle that border residents have been waging against the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its “citizenship checkpoints.”

Just before July 4th, Terry Bressi filed a revision to his complaint against the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD.)

In April 2017 Bressi was detained for hours at the CBP SR 86 checkpoint, located halfway between Tuscon and the Kitt Peak National Observatory where Bressi works.

Bressi is no stranger to both CBP and PCSD, both having stopped and detained him on multiple occasions since 2002.

Despite the fact that Bressi is known to both organizations as a U.S. citizen with no history of smuggling or other criminal activity, they continued to detain the man over and over again.

Why the random constant stops and harassment? Because Bressi has dared to challenge the legality and legitimacy of domestic “Constitution-Free” checkpoints on American citizens like himself.

Bressi first filed a lawsuit in 2002 against the Tono O’Odham tribal police and CBP for a stop that turned into a multi-hour detention without any probable cause. The tribal police eventually settled the case for $210,000.

However, Bressi’s victory came with pitfalls through the efforts of the CBP union to get him fired from his job.

The PCSD and CBP have continued targeting Bressi for stops and de-facto illegal, roadside detentions, with the latest incident occurring in April 2017, a trigger to his current lawsuit.

Bressi estimates he has been stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint on State Route 86 near Three Points more than an absurd 400 times, because he can’t avoid the checkpoint on his way home from working at Kitt Peak.

This type of behavior by Border Patrol agents harassing U.S. citizens is sadly not rare, it seems to be quite common. It is worrying to say the least.

In March, earlier this year, a man was harassed for standing up against Border Patrol by filing a lawsuit after he discovered that Border Patrol agents had illegally placed a camera on his property that gave them access to 24/7 surveillance of his land. That wasn’t all, they threatened to arrest him if he did not comply and return their camera that was placed on his fence, Activist Post reported.

Then in July, Activist Post reported on a video that surfaced online showing an altercation between a Mexican Border Patrol officer, Joel Lopez, impersonating a police officer and pulling over a Mexican doctor, Christian Hernandez, an hour within the border without a radar detector present in his vehicle, claiming the man was speeding during what he claimed was an “immigration inspection.”

Subsequently, Hernandez claimed that he just passed him on the highway when the federal agent followed him and Hernandez started recording Lopez.

This all may be due to the fact that at least 5,000 Border Patrol agents are being outsourced to Accenture, an international contractor.

Last year the agency struggled to fill positions after failing to bring on more border agents than it loses in a given year, according to a report that was released by the Department of Homeland Security.

However, another report by the Washington Times contradicts this claim by stating that the decrease in border crossings has surged back to Obama-era levels.

DHS announced a 14 percent increase over the number of people it brought on the previous year. Most of those hires were for CBP officer positions, which saw a 21 percent spike in recruiting efforts.

The Border Patrol apprehended 311,000 individuals in fiscal 2017 and CBP officers rejected 216,000 inadmissible cases, totaling nearly a 24 percent decline from the previous year.

The ACLU has filed multiple complaints in recent years for people concerned about treatment at checkpoints.

In a previous article on these checkpoints, Joe Wright writing for Activist Post included an overview by the ACLU of why the expansion of the Constitution-Free Zone is a threat to everyone. 

Outdated Legal Authority and Lack of Oversight

  • The regulations establishing the 100-mile border zone were adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1953—without any public comments or debate. At the time, there were fewer than 1,100 Border Patrol agents nationwide; today, there are over 21,000.
  • The Border Patrol often ignores this regulation and rejects any geographic limitation on agents’ authority. At least two federal circuit courts condone Border Patrol operations outside the 100-mile zone, federal regulations and Supreme Court precedent notwithstanding.
  • Federal border agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing, and often in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
  • For example, Border Patrol, according to news reports, operates approximately 170 interior checkpoints throughout the country (the actual number in operation at any given time is not publicly known). The ACLU believes that these checkpoints amount to dragnet, suspicionless stops that cannot be reconciled with Fourth Amendment protections. The Supreme Court has upheld the use of immigration checkpoints, but only insofar as the stops consist only of a brief and limited inquiry into residence status. Checkpoints cannot be primarily used for drug-search or general law enforcement efforts. In practice, however, Border Patrol agents often do not limit themselves to brief immigration inquiries and regularly conduct criminal investigations and illegal searches at checkpoints. The Border Patrol also frequently pulls over motorists in “roving patrol” stops, often without any suspicion that an immigration violation has occurred.
  • The ACLU has documented numerous cases of abuse by Border Patrol and filed lawsuits to obtain more information about the agency’s practices. Given Border Patrol’s lack of transparency, and in the absence of any meaningful oversight, there is still much that we don’t know about the full extent and impact of these interior “border enforcement” operations.

One has to wonder how Border Patrol duties will differ when the government has facial recognition cameras rolled out nationwide.

Last year, Trump’s January executive order widened immigration enforcement and included plans to hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents, 2,000 customs officers, and 500 agents for the Office of Air and Marine Operations over the next four years.

It appears the Trump administration will continue to use violence to coerce the removal of illegal undocumented citizens from America. Moreover, as Activist Post has previously reported, the U.S. is implementing a biometric surveillance state at the borders and airports that makes George Orwell’s 1984 look like nothing in comparison … all with the goal to “Make America Great Again.”

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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15 Comments on "Arizona Engineer Challenges “Constitution-Free” Border Checkpoints After Being Stopped 400 Times"

  1. Once the Border Wall is up and operational…securing our borders….they will not have to have these Check Points any longer…. They won’t have to have 21000 agents….

    • There are NO LAWFUL checkpoints. NOR was any power delegated that would override the US Constitution beyond amending it or us being so dumbed down that we let traitors and domestic enemies take it from us without a fight.

      Thomas Jefferson: “A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without
      violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.”
      Plus he also said: “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own
      will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the author of nature.”
      And “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will,
      and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

    • Hyman Griebowitz | September 26, 2018 at 11:01 am | Reply

      But the will keep them. The wall will not be built, you drank the koolaid smelly one.

  2. John C Carleton | September 26, 2018 at 5:54 am | Reply

    The Constitution was forced on free Americans, who had fought a long hard war for freedom, stealing their freedom, and making them slaves once more, just to Washington DC/USA this time, instead of the British Empire.

    The document, the”constitution”, if it had brought and guaranteed freedom to and for Americans, would not then take it back.

    The constitution is, and has always been an enemy of American’s freedom.

    • Your ignorance is showing, because you are quoting false history.

      State representatives created this document, and it is BOUND AS LAW to the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

      John C. Calhoun’s 1831 “Fort Hill Address”: “The error is in the assumption that the General Government is a party to the constitutional compact. The States, as has been shown, formed the
      compact, acting as Sovereign and independent communities. The General Government is but its creature;”

      “Legislators have their authority measured by the Constitution, they are chosen to do what it permits, and NOTHING MORE, and they take solemn oath to obey and support it. . . To pass an act when they are in doubt whether it does or does not violate the Constitution is to treat as of no force the most imperative obligations any person can assume.” Judge Thomas M. Cooley

      “Three Rights” by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr.: Quoting from pages 6, 7: “The assertion” “We The People of the United States * * * do ordain and establish this Constitution” enounces a right, a privilege, and
      a power to constitute a “government”. It emphasizes that this “government” did not “ordain and establish” itself, and that public officials did not “ordain and establish” either their own offices or the authority of those offices …”

      One must know that the government of the USA is made up of three branches, do you know what those branches are? They are “We the People of the united States”, the state Constitution’s, the US Constitution. Everyone WHO SERVES WITHIN OUR GOVERNMENT – elected, hired, contracted, etc – are there to carryout duties/jobs that are in writing.

      The American people have duties also. The duties of the American people are to
      — Enforce the US Constitution (supreme Law of this nation and all legislation is REQUIRED to be in Pursuance of it) and each state’s Constitution (highest Law of the state),
      — Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which are constitutional laws ONLY),
      — Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
      — “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

      One of the duties assigned to the American people is the Militia, whose its constitutionally assigned duties are listed above.

      Then we are REQUIRED to be informed Jurors. We also have control of the Grand Jury, Grand Jury Investigations which WE can call up anytime needed without permission of those WHO SERVE within our governments.

      Grand Jury – “The grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It is a constitutional fixture in its own right. In fact the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional government, serving as a kind of buffer or
      referee between the Government and the people”.

      “Thus, citizens have the unbridled right to empanel their own grand juries and present “True Bills” of indictment to a court, which is then required to commence a criminal proceeding. Our Founding Fathers presciently thereby created a “buffer” the people may rely upon for justice, when public officials, including judges, criminally violate the law.” (Misbehavior, “Good Behaviour” requirement)

      “The grand jury is an institution separate from the courts, over whose functioning the courts do not preside, we think it clear that, as a general matter at least, no such “supervisory” judicial authority
      exists. The “common law” of the Fifth Amendment demands a traditional functioning grand jury.”

      “Although the grand jury normally operates, of course, in the courthouse and under judicial auspices, its institutional relationship with the judicial branch has traditionally been, so to speak, at arm’s length. Judges’ direct involvement in the functioning of the grand jury has generally been confined to the constitutive one of calling the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of office. The grand jury’s functional independence from the judicial branch is evident both in the scope of its power to investigate criminal wrongdoing, and in the manner in which that power is exercised.”

      “The grand jury ‘can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even because it wants assurance that it is not.’ It need not identify the offender it suspects, or even “the precise
      nature of the offense” it is investigating. The grand jury requires no authorization from its constituting court to initiate an investigation, nor does the prosecutor require leave of court to seek
      a grand jury indictment. And in its day-to-day functioning, the grand jury generally operates without the interference of a presiding judge. It swears in its own witnesses and deliberates in total
      secrecy.”

      “Recognizing this tradition of independence, we have said the 5th Amendment’s constitutional guarantee presupposes an investigative body ‘acting independently of either prosecuting attorney or judge”

      “Given the grand jury’s operational separateness from its constituting court, it should come as no surprise that we have been reluctant to invoke the judicial supervisory power as a basis for prescribing modes of grand jury procedure. Over the years, we have received many requests to exercise supervision over the grand jury’s evidence-taking process, but we have refused them all. “it would run counter to the whole history of the grand jury institution” to permit an indictment to be challenged “on the ground that there was incompetent or inadequate evidence before the grand jury.” (Nor would it be lawful of them to do so.) Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority said In the Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, 112 S.Ct. 1735, 504 U.S. 36, 118 L.Ed.2d 352 (1992)

      And so much more…
      Federal Crop Ins. Corp v. Merrill, 332 U. S. 380, 384 (1947): “Whatever the form in which the Government functions, anyone entering into an arrangement with the Government takes the risk of having accurately ascertained that he who purports to act for the Government stays within the bounds of his authority. The scope of this authority may be explicitly defined by Congress or be limited by delegated legislation, properly exercised through the rulemaking power.”

      • John C Carleton | September 26, 2018 at 8:27 am | Reply

        You are full of it.
        What the “government” giveth, it can also taketh away, and usually does.

        If the constitution”, makes you “free”, why do you pay corporate income tax, when you are not a corporation?

        Why if you do not pay those tributes to WASHINGTON DC/USA, they will come take everything you have ever worked for in your whole life?

        And kill you if you resist WASHINGTON DC, stealing your lives labor?

        Why if you stop paying tribute, to the State, County and Local city, because you have a house to live in, they will come steal it from you, “rent” it to someone else, who will pay that tribute to the State, country and city?

        These are not the actions of free men, and their “government”.

        This is the interaction between slavemater, and slave.

  3. There is NO SUCH THING as a “constitution-free zone”. No one who SERVES WITHIN our government HAS ANY LAWFUL authority to create one.

    “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.” The Supreme Court of the United States, 1866

    Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered by emergency.” Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 425 (1934)

    • Hyman Griebowitz | September 26, 2018 at 11:00 am | Reply

      Tell that to the guy with the gun badge and radio.

    • You are not a human being if you use a social security number. You are a de facto public officer which makes you subject to the rules, regulations and obligations of a public office stripping you of all constitutional protections. Resign Social Security and become human again!

    • Constitution free zone is right at the border where they have no established that you are legal to enter the country . Also if any police find you inside the country with reasonable suspicion that you are here illegally you are under Admiralty Law until they either deport you or clear you as legal to be here .

  4. Hyman Griebowitz | September 26, 2018 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Sounds like man in the high tower.
    The nazis took over.

  5. Roadblocks that stop mostly innocent drivers with no warrants and no probable cause to believe that any particular drivers have done anything wrong are an unconstitutional violation of the Fourth Amendment against improper search and seizure. Court cases that permit stopping mostly innocent drivers on fishing expeditions that find only a tiny percentage of violators were decided wrongly and need to be reversed. I have lived and worked in countries with the hated and offensive “Papers Please” police roadblock system. We should NOT permit any form of it in the United States.
    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  6. I have been through these check points in NM ARIZ and CALIF so I can corroborate these stories . Some local sheriff’s dept’s have complained but some border guards believe they are exempt from constitutional jurisdiction anywhere, not just at the border . They operate under the cover of Admiralty Law just like you were coming in from outside the several states even though no evidence of having been outside is extant !

  7. John C Carleton | September 26, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Reply

    The declaration of independence was written by one group, the constitution another.

    The declaration of independence sounds nice, but has no force of law.
    The guys who wrote the declaration of independence, spent several years fighting the constitution, and the only reason there is a Bill of Rights attached to the constitution, is the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence, forced the men who wrote the constitution, to put it there, when it became clear, the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence, could not keep the constitution from being forced on the American people.

    Why did the men who wrote the declaration of Independence force the men who wrote the constitution, to attach a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, which the men who wrote the constitution did not want to do?

    Because the men who wrote the declaration of independence, did not trust the constitution, or the men who wrote it.

    Patrick Henry said of the constitution, ‘I smell a rat!”.

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