Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 11/21/2007 - 17:17.

The mood in the United States is changing towards people who don’t look like they are from here.

For years I have traveled around the US and around the world and, besides being inspected and asked to produce my passport at the physical border crossing between nations, I have only been stopped inside a county once - in the 70’s – by soldados in Patagonia when Argentina was governed by the military right before Peron returned to power.

Then a few months back at the Greyhound Station in Buffalo, as passengers were lined up in a loading gate vestibule waiting for their tickets to be taken by the driver, everyone in line was stopped by two armed border patrol agents who demanded to see our identification.

When I got to them, I asked them "what gives you the authority and the jurisdiction to require that I identify myself to you"

They didn’t cop an attitude, and rather explained to me that they have jurisdiction inside the United States anywhere within 100 miles of any US border. Satisfy their request, or chance being arrested.

So anywhere in the City of Buffalo, NY they were able to stop anyone and demand ID. And if they don’t like your ID, they may arrest you.

Then they went onto the bus and asked the Chicago through-bound passengers for ID. They removed a oriental looking man about 55 years old from the bus. I’m not sure what the issue was, the oriental man couldn’t speak English.

On the road again yesterday, this time by Amtrak through the northeast corridor, I watched each of the train cars swept by Border Patrol agents in Erie and in Rochester. The international border line down the middle of the Great Lakes puts those cities in the Patrol’s 100 mile jurisdiction .

Soon, I predict, all travelers will be stopped on all the US highways in our private cars. All across the US. We’ll all feel like Steve McQueen in the Great Escape.

But right now, if you are here in the US illegally, you are subjecting yourself to arrest and deportation if you travel by public transportation within 100 miles of any US border. Right now an illegal alien in the US is better off to travel in a private car.

But the chill that is going through the county is pinning down many illegal aliens. Because they are not able to travel by public transportation, and because they are not allowed (in many states to get a license) to drive a car , they are being essentially locked-down where ever they are presently working or living in the US.

Meanwhile, hypocritically, the employers who profit from the cheap immigrant labor, for a large part, still avoid legal liability for employing illegal aliens because of the powerful lobbying being done by chicken processors and farm lobbyists in Washington, DC.

For the very poor from around the world, the relative safety of life in the US and the minimum wage employment in the US are carrots, while the Border Patrol agents are sticks.

The Latino fellow in the photo got the stick in Erie. If he had any luggage on the train, he never got it off.




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