There’s no good news coming out of a category 4 hurricane slamming into the coast of Texas other than the hope that nobody is killed. But if we were to try to imagine some sort of glad tidings, it might be that a moment of crisis such as this, when a broad swath of mankind is faced with the literal wrath of nature at her worst, is one where people can briefly set aside their petty, partisan differences and work together in the interest of survival.
Or so you’d have thought, anyway. So much for that idea. The ACLU decided, as the eye of the storm was still approaching shore, to complain about the Border Patrol and whether or not their usual checkpoints would be open on the roads. Sometimes these stories really go where the buses don’t run, folks. (Washington Times)
The ACLU asked the Border Patrol to shut down its checkpoints in Texas Friday, saying illegal immigrants fleeing Hurricane Harvey shouldn’t have to worry about being nabbed.
“By keeping checkpoints open, the Border Patrol is putting undocumented people and mixed-status families at risk out of fear of deportations,” Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.
The ACLU said past practice has been to nix the checks during storms, but the Border Patrol is refusing to do that this year.
Ms. Praeli said that was a “disgusting” decision, and hinted that she thought bigotry was a motive.
What’s probably the strangest thing about this spat is that the Border Patrol appears to be doing what they always do, and it involves getting away from roads that are being closed because of a natural disaster such as this. I imagine that this part of their answer was what really put a bee under the ACLU’s bonnet.
Border Patrol checkpoints that are outside of the path of the hurricane will remain operational. CBP will remain vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm,” the agency said.
So the roads in the path of the storm won’t have checkpoints because, (duh) the Border Patrol doesn’t want their agents to be killed or to jam up exit routes. And the roads that are in safer areas will be treated normally. What does the ACLU expect the BP to do? Broadcast a bunch of locations where they won’t be conducting inspections and searches? That adds nothing to public safety but is basically putting up an engraved invitation for anyone trying to jump the line to do precisely what they said in their statement and, “exploit disruptions caused by the storm.”
I really don’t think that you’re going to be seeing any Border Patrol agents dragging people out of their cars and searching the trunks while trees are blowing by behind them and their patrol car is washing away. Did the ACLU really have to turn this into an issue in the midst of what will almost certainly be historic flooding and property loss over a massive area?
Apparently they did.