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According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “checkpoints are a critical enforcement tool for securing the Nation’s border against all threats to our homeland.” The Border Patrol, a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, views border checkpoints as one of the three security layers designed to protect the homeland from undocumented workers, illegal drugs, and international terrorists. Along with sophisticated surveillance technology, canines, and ground sensors, Border Patrol agents strategically rely on checkpoints, both permanent and tactical, to provide a final layer of defense against security threats emanating from Canada, Mexico, or Central America. Public debate surrounding Border Patrol checkpoints includes issues of surveillance and privacy as well as issues of efficiency and utility.

While patrolling the borderline and roving patrols constitute two crucial ...

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