I want to know how the use of drug sniffing dogs is legal at an immigration checkpoint inside the US border?

I've seen videos on Youtube of drug sniffing dogs being used at immigration checkpoints that are inside the US border. How can this be legal in light of a Supreme Court case like City of Indianapolis v. Edmond? Isn't the search illegal if it violates the scope of determining immigration status? If drugs are found the seizure would be illegal. And how could any charges stand up in court? And if it is illegal shouldn't the practice be stopped. Shouldn't the Border Patrol agents violating the constitution be held criminally and civilly liable?


ingsoc1: Nope, A search by a drug dog at a checkpoint is illegal per City of Indianapolis v. Edmond and it violates the scope of a immigration checkpoint. Do you want to see further proof that border patrol is really looking for drugs? Listen to this Border Patrol agent testify that is the case under oath in court in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ihGI22HgQ

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Update 2:

I don't think anyone here is getting it. The supreme court has ruled that using drug sniffing dogs at a suspicionless checkpoint is illegal. The border patrol is violating that by using drug sniffing dogs at a suspicionless checkpoint. If that is the case, Then the border patrol should stop breaking the law. The scope of the border checkpoint should be upheld and any drugs found should be excluded from prosecution or siezure by the government.

And we all know what the government is doing here. They are setting up illegal suspicionless drug checkpoints under the guise of immigration check points (WINK WINK). Wake up people please. Stop letting the government get away with violating the constitution and the law.

Update 3:

ingsoc1: Wrong again. The immigration checkpoints are roadblocks or more specifically suspicionless check points they are not international boarders. That is specifically the thing a case like City of Indianapolis v. Edmond was referring to.

Update 4:

PennyLee : I think you have it all wrong. For all the points I have already made. Illinois v. Caballes referes to a legal traffic stop not a suspicionless checkpoint. Illinois v. Caballes Simply does not apply to suspicionless check points. The case that does apply is: City of Indianapolis v. Edmond.

Secondly United States v. Martinez-Fuerte allowed immigration checkpoints with the scope of determining the immigration status of people going through. Since a drug sniffing dog is unable to determine immigration status having the dog there violates the scope allowed by United States v. Martinez-Fuerte. Again, Having a drug sniffing dog at a checkpoint also violates the law according to the decision that applies to a suspicionless checkpoint which is City of Indianapolis v. Edmond. For those reasons I don't believe that having drug sniffing dogs at an immigration checkpoint is legal.

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is just stupid.

    If the person is in possession of illegal drugs, that affect their status, wouldn't you say? Are we suppose to just assume they are not? If the dog doesn't hit on them, we DO Assume they are not. The dog is only to establish probable cause for a search.

    How much are you getting paid by the drug cartels to kneecap our law enforcement?

  • 9 years ago

    You need to look at Illinois v. Caballes (2005), which is a more recent case. http://supreme.justia.com/us/543/03-923/

    "Held: A dog sniff conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess does not violate the Fourth Amendment."

    Combine that with United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, (1976) http://supreme.justia.com/us/428/543/case.html

    "The Border Patrol's routine stopping of a vehicle at a permanent checkpoint located on a major highway away from the Mexican border for brief questioning of the vehicle's occupants is consistent with the Fourth Amendment, and the stops and questioning may be made at reasonably located checkpoints in the absence of any individualized suspicion that the particular vehicle contains illegal aliens."

    So if the primary purpose of a permanent checkpoint is to determine immigration status, then it is a lawful stop as per United States v. Martinez-Fuerte. Since the primary purpose of the checkpoint isn't to search for drugs (City of Indianapolis v. Edmond), the secondary activity of the drug dog is legal under Illinois v. Caballes.

    I think more people in the US would agree that checking for illegal immigrants is a good thing. Drugs are secondary. I'm sure that if the drug dog didn't show up for its shift, the checkpoint would stay open.

    ADDED: This gets too complex for Y!A -- want to go to email?

  • 9 years ago

    no you are not being searched until the dog alerts on you and the cop search you, the dog alerting is probable cause . No different then if the cop himself smelled weed or alcohol on you. epic fail

    edit City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000)[1], was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States limited the power of law enforcement to conduct suspicionless searches, specifically, using drug-sniffing dogs at roadblocks

    Roadblocks road blocks not international border crossings,

  • 9 years ago

    Interesting constitutional question:

    What are the scope/ methods available to authorities when they are conducting a legally approved check points like immigration or even DWI esp. when we are talking about drug dogs, where as you have pointed out the US Supreme court has ruled random drug check points are illegal

    I think the state will make the case the drug dogs are secondary or piggy back on the main reason for the check point; as such, as long as the initial reason for the stop/search/ etc. was kosher then if the state seeks to also use a drug dog it maybe kosher since the underlying stop was constitutional

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Are you suggesting that illegal aliens have the right to possess and possibly distribute illegal drugs because the search could violate the scope of determining their immigration status? Drug sniffing dogs can be used to search for illegal drug possession.

    If you want to possess illegal drugs here, do so at your own risk.

  • 9 years ago

    In that particular case they were using it as a form of profiling and discrimination, which are unconstitutional. However if the case had been where they had reason to believe that the suspect was smuggling drugs into the country, then the search would have been legal. In the United States K-9 units don't need search warrants if they have reason to believe that someone is in possession of drugs, and if the dog alerts on someone, they don't need a warrant to search that person or their property as long as they are on American soil.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    If they are Mexicans non citizens the constitution dont apply to them,

    I know we give constitutional rights to foreigners over and above the U.S. citizens.

    But it is not Constitutional.

  • 9 years ago

    You don't like what you see go live on the other side of the border Troll

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