The Latest: Customs defends plans for Vermont checkpoints
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Latest on plans for immigration checkpoints in the Vermont interior (all times local):
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is defending plans to set up immigration checkpoints in the interior of Vermont, far from the Canadian border.
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, agency spokesman Michael McCarthy says the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the Border Patrol’s authority to stop motorists at checkpoints away from the border.
He also says that the checkpoints “are designed to be minimally intrusive” and that agents ask simple questions.
The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation say they don’t think checkpoints would make the state or country safer.
Rather, they say, checkpoints would delay travelers and hinder commerce.
The three members of the Vermont congressional delegation say they are concerned by U.S. Border Patrol plans to set up immigration checkpoints in the interior of the state, far from the Canadian border.
In a Tuesday statement, U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, independent Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, also a Democrat, say they don’t think checkpoints would make Vermont or the United States any safer. Rather, they say the checkpoints would cause needless delays for travelers and hinder commerce between Vermont and Canada.
Federal law allows the Border Patrol to set up checkpoints within 100 miles of the international border.
The Vermont Border Patrol headquarters, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, occasionally sets up such checkpoints in New Hampshire and New York.