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REPORT: U.S. Latinos Unfairly Targeted at Border Checkpoints

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Border Checkpoints

U.S.Latino travelers coming through the Arizona-Mexico border to the U.S. are 26 times more likely than non-Latino travelers to be asked for their identification by a U.S. federal agent at the checkpoint, this according to a report released by the People Helping People (PHP) organization operating in the border zone.

Volunteers with the PHP observed and documented the activities of Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint established in Arivaca, Arizona, 25 miles north of the Mexican border. Between February and the end of April, observers watched agents process 2,379 vehicles as they passed through the checkpoint.

The report indicates that Latino occupants of the vehicles passing through the checkpoint were 20 times more likely to have to undergo a secondary inspection, where the vehicles are searched on some occasions by trained sniffer dogs.

Other PHP volunteers documented complaints that these U.S. residents had to undergo secondary inspections lasting up to 45 minutes.

In 2012, the PHP began a campaign to ask the federal government to remove the checkpoint at Arivaca, saying that it was hurting local businesses and affecting the daily lives of the residents who were forced to move around town to get their daily tasks done, like taking their children to school, going shopping, or just visiting family members across the border.

Arivaca residents are not the only ones who have complained about what occurs at checkpoints being administered by the Border Patrol.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also complained of abuses and has unsuccessfully requested information from the federal agency regarding border checkpoints.

The Tucson sector Border Patrol refused to comment on the report saying that they had not seen it yet.

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