Major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and even Houston have been declared by the Department of Homeland Security to be within the official 100 mile ‘border’ of the United States, subjecting 197 million citizens to electronic belonging searches without any suspicion.
It all started in 2008, when the DHS declared that certain ‘border control agents’ could search the electronic belongings of individuals without suspicion — let alone a warrant. Bypassing the rights provided by the Constitutional to every citizen of the United States, the DHS immediately came under fire for the policy. The response? The DHS promised to have the policy reviewed within 120 days. The catch? The review was done two years late and by their own review panel known as the Civil Liberties Impact division.
Absent of any independent input in their secretive review, the DHS published a brief document stating that the suspicionless search policy was perfectly reasonable. Laptops, cell phones, camcorders, and all other gadgets were open game for the DHS within the ‘borders’ of the country.
Entire States Swallowed By DHS ‘Border’
As you can see in the image below provided by the ACLU which highlights the 100 mile radius established by the ridiculous DHS policy, the 197 million individuals living on this outlandishly-extensive ‘border’ accounts for nearly 2/3 of the entire nation’s population. From Washington D.C. to the entire state of Florida (thanks to its coastal positioning), the massive ‘border’ suffocates most of the major cities within the US — and most likely your home.
And chances are you won’t be hearing about in on the nightly news. That is unless the alternative media forces major news networks to cover it as has been successfully done in the past. What’s more is that the DHS has failed to even outline why they decided to uphold the policy, and has used the tired excuse of ‘national security’ as a defense from publishing their data beyond the brief document. In fact, the DHS claims that upholding the Constitution would actually be harmful to the public. In the explanation as to why these searches are necessary throughout virtually every major city, the DHS states:
“…Imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits…”
What civil rights or civil liberties benefits? The report says nothing. It does fail to mention how the Fourth Amendment already imposes a ‘requirement’ that officers have reasonable suspicion before going through the belongings of any individual from New York City to Houston, however.
As of now, the ACLU has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain more information from the DHS, and are engaged in a lawsuit after the DHS searched an individual and detained him through the use of this policy.
If the DHS has no problem coming after the Fourth Amendment despite operating under the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, will DHS offocials have any trouble coming after another amendment as well? Will the DHS uphold all of its constant injustices through internal reviews that don’t even provide details into the analysis? The fact of the matter is that if we allow the DHS to trample over the Fourth Amendment through suspicionless searches, it is inevitable that they will push even harder in their next policy update.