A San Diego middle school teacher was detained for more than an hour last Friday after she refused to answer questions from U.S. Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint in New Mexico.
“Citizens?” a Border Patrol agent is heard asking as the Bell Middle School teacher, Shane Parmely, approached the checkpoint.
“I’ve never been asked if I’m a citizen before when I’m traveling down the road,” Parmely said.
The exchange continues for several more minutes before Parmely tells the agent he can ask all the questions he wants, but that she is not required to answer any of them.
“You are required to answer an immigration question,” the agent responds, adding “You are not required to answer any other questions.”
Parmely expressed her belief that Border Patrol had no legal right to stop and question American citizens without cause within the borders of the United States, but that, unfortunately, isn’t quite true.
A 1976 Supreme Court decision, United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, established “routine stopping of a vehicle at a permanent checkpoint located on a major highway away from the Mexican border for brief questioning of the vehicle’s occupants is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.”
“To require such stops always be based on reasonable suspicion would be impractical,” the decision continues, and, amazingly, it goes on to say, “Under the circumstances of these checkpoint stops, which do not involve searches, the Government or public interest in making such stops outweighs the constitutionally protected interest of the private citizen.”
You read that right, the government interest outweighs the constitutionally protected interests of an American citizen. The “servant,” apparently, outranks the citizenry it is supposed to serve.
Parmely’s confusion was understandable, as it seems a blatant violation of the Fifth Amendment to compel somebody to answer a question that might be self-incriminating, but such is the law in the freest, most exceptional country on Earth.
Watch the whole encounter, captured on video by Parmely’s family:
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Contributed by Will Porter of The Daily Sheeple.