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ACLU lawsuit over NH immigration checkpoints far from border to proceed

  • Border Patrol agents stop traffic along I-89 south in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Agents were stopping cars and asking occupants if they were U.S. citizens. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file photograph — Jennifer Hauck

  • A Border Patrol agent asks a Valley News reporter to stop his car during a check point on I-89 in Lebanon, N.H., Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. The reporter and photographer were asked if they were U.S. citizens. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Published: 4/9/2021 8:36:13 PM
Modified: 4/9/2021 10:03:00 PM

CONCORD — A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit challenging the use of checkpoints by the U.S. Border Patrol nearly 100 miles from the Canadian border to proceed.

A judge rejected a motion by Customs and Border Protection to dismiss the lawsuit in which ACLU affiliates in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont argue that the checks represent an unconstitutional search and seizure. The ruling was signed on Thursday.

“Allowing this case to move forward is critical to stopping CBP’s unconstitutional practice of using immigration checkpoints to unlawfully search and seize people in New Hampshire and across New England,” said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jesse Drewniak, of Hudson, N.H., who was one of a group of people stopped at an August 2017 checkpoint in Woodstock, along Interstate 93.

The Border Patrol checkpoints frequently occur on I-93 in Woodstock, and in 2019 one was set up on Interstate 89 in Lebanon, also barely within 100 miles from the border.


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