Family Separation & Highway Checkpoints Threaten Your Freedom

The Fourth Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Warrantless searches are unlawful, always, everywhere.

The Fifth Amendment reads, in part:

nor shall any person… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Detention of any person without due process is an attack on every American’s personal sovereignty.

The Sixth Amendment reads, in part: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,” effectively prohibiting prolonged administrative or pre-trial detention. It also requires that all accused persons, in every case:

have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in [their] favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for [their] defence.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States makes clear that “all persons” (not citizens, persons) have “equal protection” of the law. This is not a gift to people crossing our border; it is a necessary constraint on the freedom of people in high office to act with impunity toward any of our liberties. There are no exceptions.

  • Taking away the liberty of a person without due process is a tyrannical act, prohibited by the United States Constitution.
  • Taking away their child is a criminal act of child abduction, justified by no law.
  • It is an extrajudicial punishment, prohibited by the Bill of Rights.

We are now witnessing the use of paramilitary force to separate families (armed, armored agents, pointing combat weapons at sleeping families seeking asylum from some of the most violent criminal organizations in the world). This practice is being supported by fraudulent federal documents which falsely list separated children as “unaccompanied” in order to cover up the illegality and ensure permanent separation.

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This official government photo shows what is presumably one of the less cruel situations in the child internment camps. Young children, including toddlers, are shown lying on the floor inside a cage, with at least one armed guard standing among them. Press and civil liberties organizations are still asking: What are conditions like in the scenes Homeland Security will not let anyone see?

We are now witnessing child internment camps, based on the idea held by a few cruel people in high office that people of a certain race should be treated as less than human. This is a violation of every American’s fundamental Constitutional right to live in a nation where government can never behave this way.

We are now witnessing paramilitary checkpoints on New England highways — a 21st century version of what the British occupying forces did to try to kill the American Revolution, in the same places where that revolution started. After literally half a million brave Americans gave their lives to defeat fascism in Europe and Asia, to ensure there would never be paramilitary checkpoints with armed agents demanding “papers please” on our soil, it is being done right now, today, in the name of hate, in direct violation of Constitutional law.

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The ACLU provided this graphic, showing how the 100-mile “papers please” zone being instituted by Sessions and Trump creates a grossly unequal condition of Constitutional protection. Nearly 2/3 of all Americans live in the area where the current administration claims the Bill of Rights does not fully apply.

Under the administration’s interpretation of federal law, any piece of ground within 100 miles of the border is subject to this kind of paramilitary intervention, at any time, at the whim of senior federal officials. Under that system, people from my home state of New Jersey do not live in the same free country as people from Kansas. New Jersey, according to this policy, is under potential paramilitary occupation, where the Bill of Rights is null and void, at any time, according to the whim of leaders in Washington.

The 14th Amendment makes that situation of Constitutional inequality unlawful. No federal policy can impose such a removal of liberty from any person, let alone from whole states. Any action by any federal agent to carry out these illegal orders is a criminal act.

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In August 2017, the people of the United States were forced to confront a sinister truth: there are still public officials who accept and condone neo-Confederate and neo-Nazi hate groups. After Charlottesville, Virginia was attacked by armed racist militants, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions provided them with material aid and comfort by refusing to prosecute their planned terrorist campaign. Here, people from around the US joined the people of Charlottesville in saying hate can neve be tolerated.

Due to the threat posed by neo-Confederate militants who sought to overthrow the US Constitution and re-institute the slave system, and to the concern that any retro-active coverage of Confederate debt would undermine the prohibition on armed rebellion or on defense of slavery, the 14th Amendment also includes a prohibition on the financing of groups involved in pro-Confederate operations or as restitution for losses incurred due to having previously been a slave-owner. The federal government is prohibited from providing any financing to such causes, even in the unwinding of the organizations in question, and any debt or financial arrangement structured to do so must “be held illegal and void.”

Beyond other efforts by the President of the United States and the Attorney General to carry out extra-Constitutional operations in support of neo-Confederate anti-immigrant propaganda, the use of federal funds to support those efforts is also illegal. By one interpretation of the 14th Amendment, any salaries or contracts paid in these actions should be treated as “illegal and void,” with the funds themselves being erased from any lawfully kept ledgers.

On Sunday, faced with the rising tide of moral outrage at the creation of internment camps for children forcibly separated from their parents, President Trump declared that he would no longer honor the Constitutional requirement of due process or any judicial oversight of these actions. That declaration was a criminal abuse of office and now calls into question the legality of any order, no matter how routine, relating to immigration enforcement.

Meanwhile, in what may be the most disingenuous act of political cynicism our country has seen in decades, this hate-based removal of our Constitutional protections has been defended as a way to combat one specific violent gang operating mainly on Long Island, and targeting mainly immigrants. The cynical truth behind that claim is that President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have diverted federal resources from combatting both MS-13 and the far more dangerous narco-terrorist mafia operating in northern Mexico, in order to carry out the family separation and child internment policy.

While they actively work to strip away the Constitutional protections that guarantee your liberty and mine, these unlawful holders of high office are providing direct material aid and comfort to the very criminal gangs they claim to be trying to fight.

Every American has a fundamental human obligation, and an obligation to the defense of our Constitutional system, to seek legal remedies to obstruct, investigate, prosecute, and punish every illegal act that is part of this extrajudicial campaign of hate-based cruel and unusual punishment.

Democracy itself is at stake.

Respond to Family Separation & Highway Checkpoints Threaten Your Freedom

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