Civil Rights and Border Security   February 4, 2009

I arrived back in the country Sunday only to be greeted by our courteous and professinal border patrol who performed what I call the "everything but a full body search". This is becoming all to common for me, I get this about half the time I arrive back into the country (in fact 2 of the last 4 times). For those of you who are not familiar with it let me explain. The will empty all of your bags, empty your pockets, empty your wallet and examine everything. They don't ask, they just order you to hand it over. They will read everything that they find. It does not matter if it is a paper or on your computer, personal, business, legal, whatever. papers and correspondences from a loved one, family member, attorney, doctor, business associate, it doesn't matter. The whole process takes about an hour if you don't have too much stuff and if you don't have anything that they take particular interest in. The officers doing the search are always professional and courteous. But the question I have is this.... how do they think this will enhance our security? And what gives them the legal right to search someone's personal things? I have lived in this country all of my life. I have a business here. I have kids here. I own a home here. There was a time when the authorities needed a warrant to do a search, or else they needed probable cause. My only crime was arriving at a US airport from a foreign destination.

This country was founded on the principle of certain inalienable rights like freedoms of speach, assembly, press, religion and freedoms from imprisonment, searches and siezure without due process. Rights given up are sometimes hard to regain. Apparently we've allowed some of our rights to be eroded. I just want all of you who do not travel to realize what is happening. Does anyone out there really feel safer because the border patrol read through my email correspondences last Sunday?

The next time they go through my computer they will find this. LOL Maybe I will be detained that time.