Back in 2017, EFF, ACLU and ACLU of Massachusetts sued the US government on behalf of 11 travelers whose devices had been subjected to warrantless, suspicionless searches by Customs and Border Protection at the US border. Read the rest
Ben Watson is a reporter for Defenseone, a news site that covers "US defense and National Security" who formerly served in the US Army as a public affairs officer; last week, Watson returned to the USA after an assignment in Denmark, entering the country at Dulles Airport. Read the rest
Data from facial recognition scans performed by US Customs and Border Patrol on travelers crossing at an unnamed lander border point (an anonymous source says it's a US-Canada crossing) have been stolen by hacker or hackers unknown. Read the rest
After four years of Freedom of Information Act litigation, the ACLU has prevailed and forced the Customs and Border Patrol to release 1,000 pages' worth of training documents in which new agents learn when they can stop people and what they can do after they stop them. Read the rest
San Diego and Tijuana are practically a single city, separated by a border, which Donald Trump wants to close, claiming that "The most important way to stop gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime is at our Southern Border." Read the rest
Haisam Elsharkawi is a US citizen of Egyptian descent who was travelling to Mecca in 2017 when he was pulled out the boarding line for his flight from LAX by CBP agents who demanded that he unlock his phones; when he refused and asked for a lawyer, he was handcuffed and taken to an interrogation room where he was questioned and bullied until he unlocked his phones; the CBP officers spent 15 minutes paging through his emails, making snarky remarks about his Amazon purchase history and how many unread emails he had, and then let him go. Read the rest
One of Trump's border officials told Politico that the administration is planning to permanently bar Canadians who invest in or start legal cannabis businesses in the US or Canada from entering the USA. Read the rest
Nineteen-year-old Cedella Roman, a French citizen staying in Canada, was jogging in White Rock, B.C. when she was stopped by two U.S. border patrol officers. They told her she'd illegally entered the United States. Roman told them she hadn't seen signs on the dirt trail she'd been running on. They put her in a caged vehicle and drove her 200 kilometers to the Department of Homeland Security's Tacoma Northwest Detention Centre and held her there for 2 weeks.
Roman said she was able to contact her mother, Christiane Ferne, who rushed to the detention centre to provide officers with documents including her passport and study permits.
Ferne said workers on site told her she had to present the documents to Immigration Canada to determine if Roman was eligible to be discharged back to Canada.
Roman was held in custody for two weeks before immigration officials on both sides of the border confirmed she was allowed back into Canada. Then she was transferred back into B.C.
"It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border," said Ferne, who visited her daughter several times while she was detained. "It's like a trap … anybody can be caught at the border like this."
A spokesbot for U.S. Customs and Border Protection offered a characteristically sociopathic statement:
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A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that anyone who enters into the U.S. outside an official port of entry and without inspection has crossed the border illegally, and will be processed accordingly.
When Bryant Durrell was in college, he played D&D with an amazing Dungeon Master, Eric, who was obsessed with the moral dimension of the game, constructing thoughtful, elaborate campaigns to get the players to reflect on the nature of good and evil -- the players jokingly called the setting Eric created "Catholic World." Read the rest
BigTyPB: "I saw the installation process, an icon appear on the home screen, the police ran the application and then the icon hid itself. Not sure if it rooted my phone or what. I know something was running on my phone because they used a handheld device to confirm our phones were communicating with their system before letting us go." Read the rest
The Passport Index features beautiful high-resolution images of the covers of all the world's passports, with interactive features ranking passports by how much visa-free travel they entitle their bearers to, and the ability to assemble grids of the places your passport(s) permit entry to. (via Dark Roasted Blend) Read the rest
Created as a stop-gap to save undocumented migrants from getting killed by cars on Interstate 5 near the San Diego area border with Mexico, the signs soon took on a symbolic use beyond the original intent. The last one appears to have been stolen and won't be replaced. The Union-Tribune spoke to Caltrans designer John Hood about the sign, which was a replacement for an all-text sign:
"It doesn't just mean they are running across the freeway," Hood told the Union-Tribune in 2005, describing his choice of imagery. "It means they are running from something else as well. I think it's a struggle for a lot of things, for opportunities, for freedom.”
Caltrans installed 10 signs, focusing on areas like San Ysidro and the San Clemente checkpoint where migrants were known to cross the interstate on foot frequently.
The silhouette of a man with a mustache and woman in a dress running with their young daughter, her hair in pigtails trailing behind her, has been repurposed by different sides of the immigration debate over the years.
• Last iconic 'immigrant crossing sign' disappears (San Diego Union-Tribune)