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The Constitutionality of Search and Seizure in the Extended Border Area by Border Patrol Officers

Nina H. Compton, Del Wells


This article reviews the constitutionality of traffic checking operations as measured by the Fourth Amendment and its protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and the requirement of probable cause for apprehension and arrest. The law, as it pertains to border searches, is unique and requires special treatment by arresting officers. In this article, the proper time, place and manner of border searches are described by an analysis of judicial decisions. These cases help to define the constitutional framework of apprehension procedures which affect not only the illegal alien, but also other persons who live and work in the border area and are subject to enforcement measures. Particular emphasis will be given to the judicial treatment of the unlawful transportation of aliens, and the illegal importation of prohibited drugs into the United States.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229