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Random checkpoint on Maine Highway leads to the arrest of Haitian refugees



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A random checkpoint for US Customs and Border Patrol, set up this week on a Maine Highway, led to the arrest of a Haitian refugee who had been deported via a police department (19659004) Cones that block an Interstate 95 1

8-mile route into Penobscot County and force anyone to stop and talk to agents in the southbound trails between the cities of Howland and Lincoln, about 72 miles from the Canadian border, said Steve Sapp, a spokesman for Customs and Border Patrol. The 11-hour checkpoint led to the arrest of the Haitian man, a formal warning to a legitimate resident who did not carry necessary papers, and 10 drug attacks, he said

Sapp said that drivers passing through such checkpoints have questions about residence and citizenship. A dog is present to detect hidden people or drugs, and agents can also look through the windows of the car. If someone does not follow the survey, the driver will be taken to the side of the road for further questions, he said.

When asked why a decision was made to install a checkpoint at this location, Sapp referred to Customs and Border Protection Statement: "Due to operational security, checkpoint details are not publicly disclosed."

Sapp told NBC News on Friday that the unidentified Haitian man had admitted that he was not a US citizen and presented a Florida driving license for identification. The agents were then able to biometrically identify the man through fingerprints and discovered his deportation order and criminal record, including arrests for cocaine possession, possession of a hidden firearm, and resistance to an officer, Sapp said.

The man was then handed over to the immigration and customs authorities and is deported, Sapp said. ICE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The controversy followed these types of checkpoints in Maine and across the country. Maine's American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Emma Bond told NBC News that several constitutional rights were involved in these scenarios, including the Fifth Amendment and the Fourth Amendment against improper search and seizure.

Additionally, Bond, Customs and Border Guard said they consistently refused to release more information about these checkpoints, especially about those that take place at bus stops throughout the state.

The Maine ACLU has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act refusing the border agency and the Department of Homeland Security to publish details on random immigration checkpoints. The Maine ACLU has also worked with its New Hampshire and Vermont-affiliated companies to sue the Border Agency, Homeland Security and the Immigration Department for more information on the enforcement of immigration law in the Northeast.

Bond also argued that the Supreme Court made this decision. The US Border Police is most likely to be authorized to carry out these searches, and the US is against Martinez – Fuerte – to which Sapp also referred in an e – mail to NBC News – is not so clear.

"We do not have the statistics or specific information from CBP, that's a concern," Bond said. "The case of CBP involves a controlled, fixed and permanent checkpoint, while on the highway it was an orange cone, so this random checkpoint carries the risk of bias and subjective enforcement."

The government responded last Week on the ACLU lawsuit, and Bond said ACLU and government lawyers would meet soon to discuss whether the records are released or legal.


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