Lawsuit: Border Agents Placing Cameras on Private Property

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Customs and Border Protection agents have the authority to enter private property within 25 miles of the border to carry out their official duties, but they've been going much further than that according to a new lawsuit filed in federal court.

A retired attorney who owns a ranch in Texas has filed a lawsuit against Customs and Border Protection and the Texas Rangers because, in addition to routinely trespassing on his property which is 35 miles from the border, they also placed a remote camera on his property without his knowledge or consent.

The rancher removed the camera when he discovered it and authorities threatened to arrest to him.

via ArsTechnica:

Palacios, who had run-ins with local CBP agents going back several years, took the camera as the last straw. He was tired of agents routinely trespassing on his land, and, even after complaining several times, he was frustrated that his grievances were not being heard.

As a possible way to ward off the threat of arrest, he sued the two agencies, along with a named CPB agent, Mario Martinez. Palacios accused them of trespass and of violating his constitutional rights. [...]

"Plaintiffs maintain that there is something creepy and un-American about such clandestine, surreptitious, 1984-style behavior on the part of Defendants—officers of the law," Palacios argues in the complaint.

This obviously raises the question if border patrol agents have also placed cameras on the private property of countless other people without their knowledge and possibly outside their 25 mile area of jurisdiction.

I am not a single-issue voter but, more than possibly anything else, I want to see Democrats launch a rotorooter investigation of immigration authorities the next time they have control of oversight in Congress. I want Customs and Border Patrol turned inside out. I want to see ICE exposed as a lawless posse of racist brownshirts.

  • muselet

    I can’t wait to see CBP’s response: “Plaintiff Palacios is engaging in a willful attempt to keep our agents from having fun on their jobs. It’s not fair!

    Again I say, unless the countries involved are very closely tied pollitically and economically (eg: the EU), open borders are a bad idea. However, again I say, open borders might be a better choice than this lawless behavior.


    • Your point illustrates just how well the GOP has controlled framing on the border issue. They’ve managed to cast the Dems position as being for “open borders” when in reality Dems have supported and compromised on many bills that increased funding for border security and manpower. The Pres. Obama’s administration deported more people in the first four years than GWB did in all 8 years of his admin. And still there are miles between that Dem position and the current Gestapo tactics of ICE under Trump. No one on the Left is asking for “open borders” but everyone on the Right seems to be A-OK with unchecked authoritarianism even when they are violating the rights of actual citizens (as in Palacio’s case). The Dems HAVE to change how this topic is discussed in the MSM. Failure to do so means ICE will continue to get away it and the possibility of this fascistic approach to federal law enforcement spreading like a cancer becomes ever more probable.

      • Christopher Foxx

        The Dems HAVE to change how this topic is discussed in the MSM.

        The Democrats have to gain control of the messaging?

        Yeah, like they’ll ever manage to be coordinated enough to do that.

        • I wasn’t talking about whether they could, I was just saying they should try.

          • Christopher Foxx

            The Dems have been handed one golden opportunity after another to call the Republicans out on their lies and to take over “the narrative”.

            I can’t help but be cynical that they ever will. Their perpetual fear about saying anything forceful that might get someone mad at them (a.k.a, perpetual cowardice) leaves them unable to lead and makes them nearly as damaging to the country as the Republicans.

          • On my bad days, I’m right there with ya. I hear you.