Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

Drug searches at border checkpoints?

Mar 07, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is challenging drug-related arrests made at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint near Woodstock, NH. They argue that searches of citizens’ cars were a violation of rights guaranteed by the New Hampshire Constitution, while federal officials counter that they have a right to set up border checkpoints and search cars up to 100 miles from an international border.  The case is being heard in the Plymouth District Court. Read more about this issue. 

"Do you support using immigration checkpoints near the Canadian border to search all travelers for drugs?"

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page December 13, 2017

261 citizens responded172 citizens were opposed to drug searches at immigration checkpoints67 citizens were in favor of drug searches at immigration checkpoints22 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 172 citizens were opposed to searching all travelers for drugs at immigration checkpoints near the Canadian border.

  • “The last thing we need around here are police checkpoints. This isn't Nazi Germany.”
  • “No. This is obviously a shameless workaround designed to circumvent the rights of travelers against unreasonable searches and seizures. What's the argument, that constitutional rights are simply invalid within 100 miles of the border?”
  • “Hell no. Just an excuse to catch people with a little weed on them.”

Yes: 67 citizens were in favor of searching all travelers for drugs at immigration checkpoints near the Canadian border.

  • “Yes, it's how some of the 9/11 terrorists got here.”
  • “Yes, it's a vast area and needs electronic and satellite monitoring.”
  • “As a commercial truck driver I was searched almost everytime [sic] I came into the country. … If you have nothing illegal you have no worries but to lose 20 mins of your time.”

Other: 22 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included some alternative proposals:

  • “End the drug wars. Prohibition is unconstitutional and violates numerous individual rights.”
  • “Doesn't really matter if we support it. It's allowed by Federal Law.”
  • “I don't know, why don't we start with an analysis and determine the cost effectiveness of this expenditure over time, including the pensions for life.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

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