Federal immigration officers have set up check points 100 yards from the Tijuana-San Diego border in order to arrest illegal immigrants on their way out of the United States. At random, the officers will load southbound buses or stop vans demanding proper documentation.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection, officers detain the departing immigrants, document that they were in the US undocumented, and then send them back to Mexico. If they have serious immigration violations or a criminal history, they may be detained longer.
According to the LA Times, illegal immigrants are now targets of the check points long used to apprehend fugitives, stolen vehicles, weapons, and drugs. Part information gathering, part public relations operation — officials hope that as a result of the policy, those detained will spread the word of tough enforcement back home.
Is this unnecessary harassment of people who are just trying to go home, or responsible border patrol policy?