A few years ago I took a trip, with my husband, granddaughter and dogs, to visit one of my daughters. At that time she was living in Leander, Texas. We rented an RV, picked up my granddaughter in Southern California, and proceeded along interstate 10 to El Paso, where we turned northward. As is my wont on trips, I found a lesser-used road, and drove smack dab into the middle of the Texas sage. Bumping along at 55 mph, on a two-lane road, and 70 miles from El Paso, we were stopped by the Border Patrol.
Two armed men stepped out, and they were very tense. One came up to exchange with me at the driver’s seat. Upon face-to-face acknowledgment, he looked bemused. I had no doubt at the time; he had stopped me thinking I was Hispanic. You know, his antenna had gotten the markers wrong; dark haired woman, doing the driving, in the middle of nowhere, and going slowly. I don’t think he had seen my husband reclined in the passenger side, snoozing away.
He wanted to know who else was in the RV. I told him the dogs and my granddaughter. My brown skinned granddaughter stuck her head down from the overhead bunk and smiled; again he looked bemused but he let it go. They left. I think that if I hadn’t mentioned the dogs, he would have wanted inside.
I didn’t much like that exchange.
I tried to put it down to some imaginary all point bulletin issued for an RV just like mine. As you can see from the exchange, it was never a traffic stop. In the peculiarity of it, part of me wondered if these guys were real, or if in the middle of nowhere, I was about to get hijacked.
Nope, it was a case of profiling gone awry.
As you might guess of my personal anecdote, I have some strong opinions about this recent news release from the ACLU. The Border Patrol has a horrible and difficult job to do. However, imposing and intermingling their job 100 miles inside the border will not make it easier, only more difficult. Who is the enemy, and how are they defined? What are the rules of engagement for the general population, and why should they even have to? It is a constitutional question.
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