MARFA, TX — A Texas teacher has filed a complaint against Customs and Border Patrol, citing multiple instances of being searched and harassed at domestic checkpoints for no reason.
This happened to 39-year-old Jennifer Weaver on two occasions in the month of January 2015. Twice, while traveling on U.S. Highway 67 inside Texas, she encountered problems from CBP agents.
On the first occasion, Ms. Weaver was stopped at an interior CBP checkpoint south of Marfa, Texas, and was told that a drug dog had “alerted” on her pickup truck while stopped by border agents. Thinking she had nothing to lose by complying, she answered every question honestly.
AZCentral.com offers more details on the incident:
“I knew there was nothing in my truck of interest to anyone,” said Weaver, a schoolteacher.
She pulled over. She answered the agent’s questions. But when she replied that, yes, she had weapons — two pistols in her glove compartment, for which she had a concealed-handgun license in her purse — the stop turned ugly, she said.
Agents ordered her out of her truck. They forced her to the ground. They held her for an hour, running gun checks and repeatedly searching her vehicle, before telling her she was free to leave, she said.
According to reports, Ms. Weaver faced similar harassment during a second incident only two weeks later from the same agency. Again, the search was facilitated by a drug dog which supposedly smelled her legally prescribed medications.
Ms. Weaver suffers from physical disabilities following a deadly car crash in 2013. Her inability to walk properly only exacerbated her harsh treatment from federal agents.
AZCentral.com continues with Ms. Weaver’s ordeal:
Two weeks later, it happened again. This time, Weaver said in an account disputed by the Border Patrol, an agent threatened to shoot her if she moved as they pulled her out of her truck.
Weaver, the teacher, who has to use a walker because of severe injuries from a car accident, said the second time she was stopped by the Border Patrol, she was on her way to visit her dog at an animal hospital, where it was being treated after a run-in with a porcupine.
She said she tried to explain to the agents who ordered her out that she couldn’t stand or walk without her walker, which was in the bed of her truck. After being wrestled out of the car, searched and held again, she said the agents told her their dog had “alerted” to a bottle of prescription painkillers.
When she complained to the agent in charge of the Marfa Border Patrol station, she says she was told that if she carries her prescription medication with her, she can expect to be searched again.
Federally-run domestic checkpoints are a fixture on U.S. highways all over Texas and the southwest. Border Patrol officials are quick to defend incidents of harassment that occur persistently during encounters with Americans inside the United States.
“I’ve never been arrested in my life,” Ms. Weaver told AZCentral. “I filed a complaint, but they don’t promise any remedy. I feel they just treat everybody like a criminal.”
Checkpoints are a hallmark of police state behavior, and as Ms. Weaver’s experience shows, these so-called “immigration checkpoints” have become synonymous with searching travelers for contraband.
Provide feedback to your congressional representatives and the agency on the routine harassment of Americans inside the United States at federal highway checkpoints.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Phone: (877) 227-5511