Read the rest of this!!!The extraordinary authority that the U.S. government possesses at its borders is spilling into regular American streets, affecting large populations of its citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the country now lives within 100 miles of the U.S. land and coastal borders, an area that has been designated by the government as a "Constitution Free Zone".
In a Constitution free zone, the powers granted under the Constitution no longer apply. Any person who falls into the sites of the national security apparatus while in a Constitution free zone is on his own. There is no appeal process, no case law, no Bill of Rights protection, no lawyers, and none of what Americans count on to help them when they have become justly or unjustly identified as having done wrong.
This illegal expansion of the of the extraordinary powers of agents to encroach into the internal area of the country is part of a general trend seen over the past eight years of the heedless expansion of police and national security powers without regard to the effect on innocent Americans. It is a trend that has made many U.S. citizens as well as observers in foreign lands believe that America has become a police state. Instead of a competent, targeted effort to prevent terrorism, illegal immigration, and other crimes, the Division of Homeland Security has taken an approach that turns all U.S. citizens into suspects.
Personal freedoms are eroded as the term 'border' is redefined
Under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the American people are not normally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches. However, the area immediately at the border has for a long time been an exception. As an example, the authorities at the border do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a search of anyone that is a suspect.
The critical question is what is being defined as 'the border'. According to the new government definition, the border is now a 100 mile strip that wraps around the external boundary of the entire United States.
The result of this claimed authority is that American citizens who are 100 miles away from the border and who are going about their lives as usual are now subject to being stopped and harassed in ways that the Constitution does not allow. The border patrol has now set up check points inland on highways and at ferry terminals at which they stop people and question them about their citizenship, requiring them to produce identification. If the person stopped displays any resistance or if his name appears on a list of possible suspects, the ability to conduct a search or other law enforcement efforts kicks in. The stops by border agents are not confined to the purpose of border security. Agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on a daily basis with no suspicion of wrongdoing.
The majority of Americans live in the Constitution Free Zone
The ability to harass Americans under this new definition is not confined to the border between Mexico and the U.S. The Constitution free zone stretches inland for 100 miles up both coasts, across the Canada-U.S. border, around the Great Lakes, across the U.S.-Gulf of Mexico border, and encompass virtually all of New England. States that lie completely within the zone include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Amazingly, even Columbus, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana fall within the zone.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) calculated the proportion of the U.S. population affected by these expanded governmental powers. The estimates were arrived at by examining the most recent U.S. census numbers for all counties within 100 miles of these borders. They found that two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within the zone. That's 197.4 million people living within 100 miles of U.S. land and coastal borders.