I just completed the trip of a lifetime. My wife, Laura, and son Jack and I traveled, by Prius Plug-In from New Hampshire to San Diego. It was a wonderful trip marred only by all-too-frequent Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints. At one point in our trip, we did cross into Mexico. We took a few pictures in front of the Border Wall. We then were visited by a CBP Agent. He was nice and was amused by me pointing out that the border protection measures were inconsistent. The border crossings were uneventful, other than the line to get back in was very long.
One expects bored, surly Customs Agents at the Border and ours was a step up from surly. What we were surprised by was all of the Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints *within* the US. We were hindered in our progress by paramilitary troops, in the Land of the Free, on 4 occasions. On one occasion, we were just waved through. In another, my wife was quizzed if everyone was a US citizen, she answered in the affirmative. I then explained to her that these were unconstitutional. On the next, she asked the CBP Agent how far we were from the Border and he just shrugged and waived her through. On the last occasion, I was driving. The officer asked me if I was a US Citizen, I asked him if he had reasonable, articulable suspicion that I wasn’t, thus started 5 minutes of Orwellian questioning and jingoistic praise for the fatherland and some feeble attempt to pass the drug dog off as an animal capable of discerning, by smell, if someone is an illegal immigrant or legally in the US. At some point, the commander-fella gave up and let us go.
It wasn’t a victory. I lost 5 minutes of my life to some crowing totalitarian who thinks he is protecting freedom by infringing it. These checkpoints have to stop or we have to stop calling it the Land of the Free.