Constitution-Free Border Zones

by | Aug 21, 2013 | Videos | 0 comments

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by James Corbett
August 20, 2013

As new revelations of NSA abuses continue to emerge on a daily basis, even the most politically oblivious Americans are now aware that the 4th Amendment has for all intents and purposes been consigned to the dustbin of history. This will be no surprise at all, however, for those who have been following the escalating chain of abuses that have been taking place in America’s border areas for decades now.

Although these violations are becoming increasingly violent and increasingly flagrant, they are sadly only the latest examples of a phenomenon that has been occurring for upwards of half a century.

Last week I had the chance to talk to Guillermo Jimenez, host of the Demanufacturing Consent podcast on, about the history of this “constitution-free border zone” idea.

As with every such flagrant violation of constitutionally-enshrined rights, the question becomes what the average person can do about it. While non-cooperation with illegal searches and seizures seems the obvious example, it is almost certain to end up in arrest and detainment, and could lead to physical injury or worse. What is needed, as I went on to discuss in my conversation with Jimenez, is a fundamental shift in attitude and consciousness about the issue.

Fundamentally, the issue is part and parcel of all of the flagrant abuses of privacy and due process that are taking place in all aspects of life in 21st century America. Whether it’s the NSA blithely admitting to thousands of abuses of their surveillance powers per year, or TSA agents taking greater and greater liberties with air passengers, or border patrol agents continuing to arrest and harrass people near the border for literally doing nothing at all, it is only with an admission that this is a problem and a nationwide movement to refuse cooperation with these invasive searches that anything at all will change.

In the meantime, we have the men and women who continue to document their own non-cooperation to look to as examples of bravery in this age of near-universal submission to so-called governmental “authority.”


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