I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, surrounded by endless miles of cornfields. The closest foreign country was Canada, hundreds of miles to the north. The first time I ever saw saltwater was in 1977, when a senior in college. And yet if this ACLU map is accurate, the US government views Madison as a "border town":
The map shows all regions that are (supposedly) within 100 miles of the US border. About 200 million Americans live within the shaded region, that's nearly 2/3rds of the entire US population.
But the map doesn't appear to be accurate, or perhaps the map is accurate, but the US government doesn't know where the US border actually is. Lake Michigan is not an international border. (Perhaps they use some phony excuse like US/Canadian treaties on navigation through the Great Lakes.)
A video reportedly showing Customs and Border Protection agents demanding proof of citizenship from Greyhound bus passengers in Florida last week has sparked fresh outrage over the Trump administration's hard-line immigration policies.
"If I haven't committed a crime why do I have to show you ID?" one passenger can be heard saying. . . .
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects people from arbitrary stops and searches, but federal law allows this to be overlooked in areas within 100 miles of U.S. borders. Florida lies entirely within that scope.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Border Patrol "cannot pull anyone over without 'reasonable suspicion' of an immigration violation or crime," nor can it search vehicles within that 100-mile zone without a warrant.
"In practice, Border Patrol agents routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority in the course of individual stops, resulting in violations of the constitutional rights of innocent people," the ACLU said.
President Donald Trump has hardened the U.S. stance on illegal immigration, widening the mandate with more frequent raids and arrests, stoking fears of deportations.
This isn't the country I grew up in. (Yes, the 100 mile region was established in 1953, but it was rarely enforced in those days.)
So what do I propose? The border patrol should only be allowed to inspect vehicles such as buses, planes and ships at the point of entry into the US. I presume the Greyhound bus in Ft. Lauderdale did not magically fly across the ocean. When looking for people on foot, perhaps a band few miles wide along the border is appropriate.
PS. At least the Constitution still applies in Nebraska.