In a letter filed Thursday with the Department of Homeland Security, the ACLU of Arizona is calling for an investigation of "roving" border patrols, which have been cited as far 60 miles north of the Mexico border. The order comes just two weeks after the ACLU won a settlement in Seattle, Wash. over roving patrols, and two days after Arizona police used pepper spray to break up an impromptu immigration rally in Tucson involving the Border Patrol.
In their letter they outline a number of abuses allegedly perpetrated by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Arizona:
- Pulling a citizen over as she was driving her young children home from school, threatening her with a Taser and leaving her with a flat tire on the side of a dirt road;
- Stopping a citizen who was driving on Tohono O'odham land and then dragging her out of her vehicle and detaining her for over an hour without reason;
- Causing hundreds of dollars in damage to a citizen's car while he was visiting the Fort Bowie National Historic Site in southeastern Arizona;
- Pulling over and questioning a man, while holding automatic weapons, on his family's property 60 miles north of the border for over an hour in front of his relatives; and
- Stopping and wrenching a citizen from her car, then groping and holding her in handcuffs without explanation until local police intervened.
In light of the Seattle settlement, CBP is now required to have "reasonable suspicion of violating the law," before pulling someone over in that state.