Border Patrol Amps Peninsula Patrols

A caller informed us this week of a strange, but not unbelievable sight: the U.S. Border Patrol had set up shop on Highway 104 just west of the Hood Canal Bridge.

I talked with Border Patrol Spokesman Michael Bermudez today, who confirmed that the patrol was conducting random checkpoints — and that there’ll be more of them to come across the Olympic Peninsula.

He said agents set up the checkpoint between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. While on the lookout for terrorists, human traffickers, drug smugglers and criminals on the lam, they detained seven undocumented illegal immigrants, he said.

One other person was taken to the Clallam County jail, as he was wanted by Port Angeles Police, Bermudez said.

But I had to ask Bermudez: what are the laws governing such random searches? I had on my mind Gov. Christine Gregoire’s failed efforts this year to set up DUI checkpoints.

According to federal law, agents can conduct searches within a “reasonable distance” from the border (Bermudez said this has been determined to be 100 miles) for possible illegal aliens. During such search, if other crimes are uncovered, or agents feel they have reasonable suspicion those being searched are committing a crime, they can also be arrested.

This story was covered by some Olympic Peninsula newspapers, including the Port Townsend Leader.

17 thoughts on “Border Patrol Amps Peninsula Patrols

  1. “… agents set up the checkpoint between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. While on the lookout for terrorists, human traffickers, drug smugglers and criminals on the lam, they detained seven undocumented illegal immigrants, he said.

    One other person was taken to the Clallam County jail, as he was wanted by Port Angeles Police, Bermudez said….”

    We must have a huge influx of illegals if seven are caught going over the Hood Canal bridge in only five hours! Did the State of Washington give them Driver’s Licenses or were they walking across the bridge? I didn’t think anyone wanted to catch them and send them back.

    Banner Park should be within the 100 mile limit…I’m told swarms of illegals are dropped off to go into the park in the morning and are picked later. They had to have been noticed by law enforcement….and apparently ignored.

    How many would be caught if random searches were set up on all roads going into and out of Kitsap County? I’m told North Mason has a massive population of illegals.

    Maybe Justice is alive and well after all. I was beginning to think crimes are against the law for all…. EXCEPT the illegal aliens.

    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  2. Sharon O’Hara,

    What are the people (“swarms of illegals”) doing in Banner Park in the daytime? Who is telling you this? Why haven’t they phoned Immigration to report this? How do they know that these people are “illegals?” I have the same questions about the people you’ve been told about who are in Mason County. Do your friends/family who are reporting this to you not know how to reach the Border Patrol offices?
    The telephone number for the Blaine office is (360)332-9200. The Seattle Port Border Patrol office telephone number is (206)553-0770.

    By the way, I do not like the term “illegals” because illegal is an adjective, not a noun. It makes no more sense than to call them “irregulars” or “undocumenteds.” Human beings are not “illegals.” They may commit acts that are illegal, but they themselves remain human beings while doing so.

    If people have come through our borders without proper paperwork, they are here illegally and we should find them, but it’s a very low priority for me.

    I once crossed an unguarded border between Guatemala and Honduras without showing any papers, and returned later the same day. Neither country was damaged by my crossing, but I suppose that I could have been deported if anyone had cared.

  3. Linda… Thank you for the Border Patrol numbers. I’ll be sure and pass them on.

    In case you didn’t know, our borders are guarded.
    You’re right…the illegals I spoke of are illegal aliens…thanks for the correction.

    I’m surprised you don’t see the difference between your country to country episode and the vast numbers of illegal aliens flooding into this country.

    My people immigrated here legally…some family members were ill and turned away.

    They didn’t sneak across the border in vast numbers to suck the marrow out of the bones of our educational, health and welfare systems.

    They wouldn’t come if they didn’t have jobs by employers getting cheap labor without the nuisance of paying tax on the employees. They wouldn’t come if they knew they couldn’t get free medical help and jobs…but they can and do and we let them.

    Hospitals have closed their doors, drained from treating people without payment…leaving our own citizens without the hospital medical services.

    How many supplies, wages, overhead, can any business lose before they are bankrupt?

    Illegal immigration into this country is low on your list of importance?
    I’m not surprised.
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. Sharon said, “Hospitals have closed their doors, drained from treating people without payment…leaving our own citizens without the hospital medical services.” The implication is that illegal immigration has caused this situation.

    Here in Kitsap, Harrison Hospital appears to be quite healthy. In fact, they are building another facility in Poulsbo.

    We do have a large medical problem in the United States. It has several causes, but I see the major causes as greed on the part of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and for-profit medical providers and the number of poor people needing medical care. Illegal immigration is a very small part of the large problem of uncompensated care. Unemployment and low wage jobs without benefits result in sick people waiting until they are so sick that it is an emergency, knowing that a hospital is required to treat them. If every person in this country who is here illegally were to leave tomorrow, we would still have a health care crisis.

    See this article about one New Jersey hospital closing.

  5. I think this is a great idea! This should only be the beginning. We need to set up checkpoints at all highway intersections – prove you are a citizen or go to jail. We can appoint neighborhood watch guards. If these people see suspicious activity at a neighbor’s house, the police can do a raid and find out what is happening. Search warrants only give the guilty time to get away. We can teach our children to tell the police about any suspicious activity they see going on in their house. All of this worked quite well for the Nazis – they didn’t have an illegal immigration problem,

    We don’t need all those silly protections in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Due Process, Probable Cause and Habeas Corpus are only for people who have things to hide.

  6. Yes, I understand you are unaffected, Linda…but the rest of us pay the taxes to support the illegals and cheat our own citizens and legal immigrants of an education.

    “…In California, the $7.7 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants—nearly 13% of the overall 20045 education budget—could:

    * Cover the education budget shortfall for the 2004-05 school year, estimated by the Legislative Analyst Office at $6 billion and nearly cover the $2 billion reduction this year from the Proposition 98 formula.
    * Or, the remaining $1.7 billion could pay the salaries of about 31,000 teachers and reduce per student ratios, or it could furnish 2.8 million new computers—enough computers for about half of the state’s students.
    * Prevent educational shortfalls estimated at $9.8 billion over the past four years that have impacted on “…class size, teacher layoffs, shorter library hours and fewer counselors, nurses, custodians and groundskeepers.” (See Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2005)…”…”

    …All of our children—native-born and immigrants alike—are receiving a poorer education as a result of the federal government passing its immigration law enforcement failures on to the states. The implications for the coming generations of workers, our future economy, and our long-term competitiveness in the world cannot be ignored. …”

    Sharon O’Hara

  7. Nice Post, Bob. I enjoyed the sarcastic, tongue and cheek humor. Seriously though, this is very scary. No, I am not a liberal by any means. I hope the ACLU will file that suit for the legality of this. This is the only time that I see eye to eye with the ACLU. As a free people, I am not willing to give up my freedoms. This could go on to other government intrusions until this country becomes a totalitarian, police state. What are the border patrol agents doing at the borders? Why are illegal aliens not stopped at the border? I took a very serious oath to defend the Constitution Of The United States Of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. Hmmmm, it makes you wonder. Papers please?

  8. Take 12 million wage earning, rent paying, supermarket shopping undocumented immigrants out of our economy and see what happens. Undocumented workers are the underclass that supports the low-priced fruit and vegetables on your table. They pay into a Social Security system that they won’t be able to access but which supports countless retired Americans. They clean your hotel room, prepare your restaurant meals, and build your houses. Instead of an “us against them” attitude which always seems to fail eventually, we need a “we are all in this together” attitude which will lead to a common sense immigration/worker visa program that everyone (except for the most unreasonable) will be happy with.

  9. ‘Common sense immigration/worker visa program’?

    And how will that work?
    Will everyone who sneaks across our borders be eligible to belong to the program?

    Seems odd that no one seems to mind that illegals come across carrying all manner of disease. Why is that?

    Is it unreasonable that our immigrations laws don’t allow sick people to immigrate here and infect the rest of us but it is okay if they sneak across the border and get here illegally.
    …in my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  10. What no one here and most people across the country fail to comprehend are three things about illegal alien workers in our United States. First, they are here to work for incredibly higher wages than they can earn in Central America, South America, The Caribbean, Africa, or Asia. Second, there are untold unscrupulous employers in our United States who are only too happy to pay them wages that are lower than even minimum wage and avoid paying any employer taxes (federal, state, or local) or benefits. Third, the illegal alien employees also pay no federal, state, or local employee taxes. Period.

    When federal, state, county, local officials, and citizen tax payers get fed up enough to take action against illegal HIRING PRACTICES and failure to pay taxes by the EMPLOYERS of illegal alien workers, most immigration into these United States will once again be legal.

  11. Of course illegal aliens come here or go elsewhere because life is better for them than their home country…the same with those who immigrate here legally.

    And you’re right…the employers get cheap labor… and the rest of us pay for it.
    How do we find these employers and have them arrested for breaking a twenty year old law against hiring illegals?

  12. I happened to be heading up to Port Angeles the day this was going on. At the time, all I could think of is they had a line a brush pickers or something. There were two groups of cops and border patrol agents. The first group was heading west just beyond the bridge. They had a SUV pulled over and it’s contents unloaded, it appeared to be brush. The second group was closer to the Shine turn off with another car pulled over searching it. It wasn’t until just now that I have learned that this was supposedly a random search of drivers. If they were on to illegal aliens picking brush, go ahead and get them but leave everybody else alone. All Americans should question this type of action. This is so against what our country stands for. What’s next, door to door searches of our homes. Sounds far fetched but I would have never believed that they were randomly pulling cars over to be searched either. One thing leads to another, be aware of what is going on before it’s too late.

  13. Why haven’t we arrested the person/company employing the illegal aliens for brush picking? There is a law against it.

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