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Thread: supreme Courtof Uninted States v. Martinez - Fuerte

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    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
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    supreme Courtof Uninted States v. Martinez - Fuerte

    On a forum I visit, Border patrol stops (within the US) is something being discusssed. The main issue is having to show ID when not suspect of anything. On poster who believes you should just show your ID and be on your way cited:



    UNITED STATES
    v.
    MARTINEZ-FUERTE ET AL.
    No. 74-1560.

    Supreme Court of United States.
    Argued April 26, 1976.
    Decided July 6, 1976.[*]


    That was from 1976 and while I believe that one does not have to currently show ID at a border patrol stop within th US if there is no reasonable supicion, I can't find anything updated that would suggest such. Any help finding such is appreciated.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    I can't cite any court decision , however I believe that members of the armed forces are probably the only citizens required to carry their DOD ID.

    The assorted operator licenses , CCW licenses, perhaps fish & game licenses when in use may require presentation of a picture ID to those officials responsible for enforcement of regulations pertaining to that particular activity. Other than that - I would say NO - we do not have to have ID in our possession as citizens of the U.S. Therefore it would seem that we are not required to produce something that we are not required to possess.

    We are being ASKED to show evidence that we are either U.S. citizens, or that we are otherwise inside the U.S. legally. If the Border Patrol plans on detaining us because we refuse to produce documentation that we are not otherwise required by State or federal law to possess, in the absence of RAS that a crime is in progress - I say we are on our way - have a nice day. On the other hand, I think that a BP agent does have necessary authority to demand that the driver of a motor vehicle produce a valid State DL.

    If you disagree, then all the Border Patrol agent has to do is summon a State trooper, County Mounty, or local PO-PO who will then demand to see your driver license.

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    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply Rushcreek

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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    We are being ASKED to show evidence that we are either U.S. citizens, or that we are otherwise inside the U.S. legally. If the Border Patrol plans on detaining us because we refuse to produce documentation that we are not otherwise required by State or federal law to possess, in the absence of RAS that a crime is in progress - I say we are on our way - have a nice day. On the other hand, I think that a BP agent does have necessary authority to demand that the driver of a motor vehicle produce a valid State DL.

    If you disagree, then all the Border Patrol agent has to do is summon a State trooper, County Mounty, or local PO-PO who will then demand to see your driver license.
    And then the State Trooper, County Mountie or local po-po will have to come up with the very same RAS that a crime is afoot to ASK one to identify themself, which DOES NOT mean showing ID (Hiible v. 6th Judicial District). Showing a valid State DL has to be for a valid, vehicle-related stop.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    On a forum I visit, Border patrol stops (within the US) is something being discusssed. The main issue is having to show ID when not suspect of anything. On poster who believes you should just show your ID and be on your way cited:



    UNITED STATES
    v.
    MARTINEZ-FUERTE ET AL.
    No. 74-1560.

    Supreme Court of United States.
    Argued April 26, 1976.
    Decided July 6, 1976.[*]


    That was from 1976 and while I believe that one does not have to currently show ID at a border patrol stop within th US if there is no reasonable supicion, I can't find anything updated that would suggest such. Any help finding such is appreciated.
    Search border patrol checkpoints on youtube and you will see a lot of videos of people refusing to answer questions and give ID. After some threating behavior by some ignorant agents they are allowed to go. You do not have to give ID or answer questions and inland checkpoints.

    In fact there was some case on this recently.

    SCOTUS has opined that border-less checkpoints are legal, BUT you do not give up your constitutional rights, and PDAs need PC to conduct searches, etc., just like any other LEO.

    At the border you lose your 4th Amd. rights as a condition of crossing.
    Last edited by Venator; 02-01-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    On a forum I visit, Border patrol stops (within the US) is something being discusssed. The main issue is having to show ID when not suspect of anything. On poster who believes you should just show your ID and be on your way cited:



    UNITED STATES
    v.
    MARTINEZ-FUERTE ET AL.
    No. 74-1560.

    Supreme Court of United States.
    Argued April 26, 1976.
    Decided July 6, 1976.[*]


    That was from 1976 and while I believe that one does not have to currently show ID at a border patrol stop within th US if there is no reasonable supicion, I can't find anything updated that would suggest such. Any help finding such is appreciated.
    I just read the opinion in its entirety, including some well deserved flaming dissent, and I see nothing that requires that anyone provide ID. The case concerns permissible investigations under the 4th amendment. The only mention of identification is when the court cites United States v. Brignoni-Ponce: "The stop does intrude to a limited extent on motorists' right to 'free passage without interruption,' and arguably on their right to personal security. But it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which (a)ll that is required of the vehicle's occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States. This quote arises in the Government's brief in Brignoni, they are not the words of the court. I wouldn't venture to characterize this as setting forth the requirement to ID in any way, just a statement of what is requested by the officers and what is required for the stop to go smoothly. To some degree it would also depend on the wording of the statute, whether proof of citizenship is an affirmative defense or whether lack of citizenship is an element of the crime under investigation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emsjeep View Post
    I just read the opinion in its entirety, including some well deserved flaming dissent, and I see nothing that requires that anyone provide ID. The case concerns permissible investigations under the 4th amendment. The only mention of identification is when the court cites United States v. Brignoni-Ponce: "The stop does intrude to a limited extent on motorists' right to 'free passage without interruption,' and arguably on their right to personal security. But it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which (a)ll that is required of the vehicle's occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States. This quote arises in the Government's brief in Brignoni, they are not the words of the court. I wouldn't venture to characterize this as setting forth the requirement to ID in any way, just a statement of what is requested by the officers and what is required for the stop to go smoothly. To some degree it would also depend on the wording of the statute, whether proof of citizenship is an affirmative defense or whether lack of citizenship is an element of the crime under investigation.
    The way I read the opinion, the words, "(a)ll that is required..." are quoted inline and, therefore, become a part of the line of reasoning of the justice writing the opinion. He is merely attributing the source of the words he is incorporating into the opinion.

    If such a short questioning and production of ID has been ruled not a violation of the 4A at checkpoints away from the border, surely brief questioning and production of ID would also be allowable at the border.

    That being said, IMO, checkpoints away from the border are intrusions that the Founders would have found objectionable. Also IMO, the Founders would not have believed that anyone could enter the nation that they formed without question, and would have held that the nation had the authority to reject the entry by anyone other than a citizen (or whatever you prefer that status be called at that time in history) for any reason.

    They, of course, did not have border checkpoints at the time. (Consider the size of the "border" relative to the size of the nation at the time and its western fuzziness.) Such questioning of a foreigner's presence (and right to be present) would likely have happened locally. Also, of course, having ID was not routine at the time.

    However, I have no doubt that, viewing the circumstances today, whereby we have routine ID and there are millions trying to enter and succeeding at entering the nation against her laws regarding entry, the Founders would not have blinked twice at the notion of a few questions as to why a person thought he should be allowed to enter the nation nor at the production of such routine ID at the now well-defined border. Even without probable cause that the person was not being forthright, they surely would have thought that such a stop at the border was not unreasonable and, therefore, not a violation of the 4A. With probable cause, of course, more in-depth search and seizure would be called for.

    Are border patrol agents allowed to ask you a few questions and demand ID at the border? This opinion is silent on that issue. However, since it holds that such stops are lawful at fixed places away from the border, surely such stops would be lawful at the border.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The way I read the opinion, the words, "(a)ll that is required..." are quoted inline and, therefore, become a part of the line of reasoning of the justice writing the opinion. He is merely attributing the source of the words he is incorporating into the opinion.

    If such a short questioning and production of ID has been ruled not a violation of the 4A at checkpoints away from the border, surely brief questioning and production of ID would also be allowable at the border.
    Hmmm...

    Well here is the source of the quote:
    Against this valid public interest we must weigh the interference with individual liberty that results when an officer stops an automobile and questions its occupants. The intrusion is modest. The Government tells us that a stop by a roving patrol ‘usually consumes no more than a minute.’ Brief for United States 25. There is no search of the vehicle or its occupants, and the visual inspection is limited to those parts of the vehicle that can be seen by anyone standing alongside. According to the Government, ‘(a)ll that is required of the vehicle's occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States.’ Ibid. Because of the limited nature of the intrusion, stops of this sort may be justified on facts that do not amount to the probable cause required for an arrest.
    United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 879-80 (1975)

    Initially it is used to downplay the intrusion on protections from search, seizure and detention in order to justify the stop. At this point the court merely approves of the practice of "possibly" asking for a document, I don't see, "You are required to provide ID or face"....what? Criminal charges? Indefinite detention?

    The Martinez-Fuerte court then uses the language:
    While the need to make routine checkpoint stops is great, the consequent intrusion on Fourth Amendment interests is quite limited. The stop does intrude to a limited extent on motorists' right to “free passage withoutinterruption,” Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 154, 45 S.Ct. 280, 285, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925), and arguably on their right to personal security. But it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which

    “ ‘(a)ll that is required of the vehicle's occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States.’ ” United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, supra, 422 U.S., at 880, 95 S.Ct., at 2579.

    Neither the vehicle nor its occupants are searched, and visual inspection of the vehicle is limited to what can be seen without a search. This objective intrusion the stop itself, the questioning, and the visual inspection also existed in roving-patrol stops. But we view checkpoint stops in a different light because the subjective intrusion the generating of concern or even fright on the part of lawful travelers is appreciably less in the case of a checkpoint stop.
    United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543, 557-58 (1976).

    The court here is distinguishing checkpoint stops from roving patrol stops and is again using the language from the brief to downplay the extent of the intrusion. It seems kind of thin to me to take away from this, and this alone, that "You must provide documentation of your citizenship if you become subject to a checkpoint detention."

    "It's not so bad because this is all that will be required of you, and only possibly, if you are stopped," doesn't translate into, "If you are stopped you are REQUIRED to do this," to me...though I do acknowledge your point. If we are making up a new offense, what are the consequences, the defendants didn't provide legitimate documentation and were deported...if I hit a checkpoint and don't have my license, am I going back to Mexico?
    Last edited by emsjeep; 02-02-2011 at 08:02 PM.
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    The word "required" is part of the inline quote. Looking at just the words and sentences, with references and quotes removed, the paragraphs that communicate the reasoning become:

    While the need to make routine checkpoint stops is great, the consequent intrusion on Fourth Amendment interests is quite limited. The stop does intrude to a limited extent on motorists' right to free passage without interruption and arguably on their right to personal security. But it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which all that is required of the vehicle's occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States.

    Neither the vehicle nor its occupants are searched, and visual inspection of the vehicle is limited to what can be seen without a search. This objective intrusion the stop itself, the questioning, and the visual inspection also existed in roving-patrol stops. But we view checkpoint stops in a different light because the subjective intrusion the generating of concern or even fright on the part of lawful travelers is appreciably less in the case of a checkpoint stop.
    They go on to say that the stop is lawful, the clear implication being with the attendant one or two questions and the required production of ID.

    If you do not produce the ID you will not be deported. At best, the officer will simply believe that you are a citizen and let you go. At worst, you will be detained further for more investigation. In the case of an illegal alien without documentation, theoretically, he will be deported. How long that takes and how difficult it will be depends on how much of a legal fight the criminal puts up.

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    Last edited by emsjeep; 02-02-2011 at 09:38 PM.
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