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IPFS News Link • Events: Arizona

Southern Arizona residents protest Border Patrol checkpoints

• Deseret News

Federal authorities say the checkpoints located on highways and small roads north of the U.S.-Mexico line are vital to catching immigration violations, drug smugglers and human traffickers, but many area residents say they're fed up with answering citizenship questions each time they drive to work or the grocery store.

"Every time I have to pull out an I.D. out of my purse," Carlota Wray, an Arivaca activist, said Wednesday. "I don't like that."

Wray is among those who say the checks are intrusive and invite racial profiling.

She and several dozen others gathered around a checkpoint at a two-lane road in Amado, where agents under a metal tent ask all who drive through about their citizenship status.

For over a year, a group of Arivaca residents have been monitoring the stop, jotting down the type of car, driver and interaction they can see from a distance. Two of the activists involved in a lawsuit against the Border Patrol have asked a federal judge to grant them closer access to agents at the check.