Category Archives: Border Patrol Issues

Tensions over Border Patrol Checkpoints Continue to Simmer

The U.S. Border Patrol’s increased presence on the Olympic Peninsula continues to keep area residents fired up — on both sides of the debate.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that over the weekend, the Port Angeles-based Stop the Checkpoints group led 40 people in a protest of the checkpoint stops, which the Border Patrol has been randomly conducting since their staff on the peninsula ramped up from four to 24.

Meanwhile less than two miles away, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps — led by Hal Washburn, reportedly of Olalla — had about 100 people who promoted and praised the border patrol’s efforts to thwart illegal immigration on the peninsula.

The daily news also recorded a video of both, which you can watch here.

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Local Peninsula Police, Border Patrol Appear at Odds

An exchange between Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Brasfield and U.S. Border Patrol Chief John Bates this week — before a packed Chimacum High School auditorium — saw an interesting confrontation, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

Bates was asked by a person in the crowd this question: what would happen if a driver refused to give identification to a federal agent at a border patrol checkpoint, writes Reporter Erik Hidle.

Bates replied they’d need help from Brasfield’s deputies.

Brasfield said no-can-do. “I’m sorry, but we would not get involved. We do not have any rights to issue an infraction in that situation,” Hidle quoted Brasfield as saying.

“The standing room only crowd erupted into a round of applause,” Hidle wrote.

And thus the saga of the border patrol’s bolstering of resources on the north peninsula continues.

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Border Patrol’s Woes Continue

Updating an earlier post, it seems the border patrol’s surge of resources on the Olympic Peninsula has been met with more attention — media and otherwise — that has been far from positive.

First off, the deputy chief of the Blaine sector — which covers Alaska, western Washington and Oregon — has been charged with the child rape of a 14-year-old Bellingham girl he had in his home as a foster child.

Secondly, Paul Richmond, a Port Townsend attorney (who once ran against Congressman Norm Dicks, who I’ll mention shortly) has filed a public disclosure request for a video he claims was taken by government agents at a protest of the checkpoints in Port Angeles Sept. 20. He says the border patrol’s activity on the Olympic Peninsula is part of a government build up. Here’s more from a press release:

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Law in Focus: The Peninsula Checkpoints

(Blogger’s note: Back to help us untangle our often complex legal system is Stan Glisson, a local Bremerton defense attorney. You might remember his last segment explaining the legal woes of Paris Hilton. Here’s his take on the recent stop-and-ID checkpoints the U.S. Border Patrol is conducting on the Olympic Peninsula.)

Since 9/11, Americans’ civil liberties have been limited in the name of national security. Is additional safety worth minor intrusions into our personal lives? Or as Benjamin Franklin said, is a society that trades liberty for safety deserving of neither?

For several months, the U.S. Border Patrol has been increasing its use of checkpoints on the Kitsap Peninsula as a mechanism for seeking out illegal — and possibly terrorist — border crossers. All along the peninsula, residents are reacting with a mix of surprise and outrage: If I haven’t done anything wrong, why am I being stopped and questioned by the police?

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Border Patrol Checkpoints: Not Just Here

Turns out that the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints that have ruffled some residents’ feathers on the Olympic Peninsula aren’t unique to our area.

The border patrol is conducting them in Vermont, Louisiana, New York and elsewhere, reports USA Today. And they’re not limited to stopping cars — they’re boarding buses, ferries and trains too.

Federal law allows the border patrol to stop anyone in transit, up to 100 miles from any international border crossing, in order to search for illegal immigrants. If other crimes are found to be committed — and no illegal aliens are found — the border patrol can investigate those crimes.