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Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

An urgent look at the U.S. Border Patrol from its xenophobic founding to its assault on the Fourth Amendment in its quest to become a national police force.

Late one July night in 2020, armed men, identified only by the word POLICE written across their uniforms, began snatching supporters of Black Lives Matter off the street in Portland, Oregon, and placing them in unmarked vans. These mysterious actions were not carried out by local law enforcement or even right-wing terrorists, but by the U.S. Border Patrol. Why was the Border Patrol operating so far from the boundaries of the United States? What were they doing at a protest that had nothing to do with immigration or the border?

Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States is the untold story of how, through a series of landmark but largely unknown decisions, the Supreme Court has dramatically curtailed the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution in service of policing borders. The Border Patrol exercises exceptional powers to conduct warrantless stops and interrogations within one hundred miles of land borders or coastlines, an area that includes nine of the ten largest cities and two thirds of the American population.

Mapping the Border Patrol’s history from its bigoted and violent Wild West beginnings through the legal precedents that have unleashed today’s militarized force, Guggenheim Fellow Reece Jones reveals the shocking true stories and characters behind its most dangerous policies. With the Border Patrol intent on exploiting current laws to transform itself into a national police force, the truth behind their influence and history has never been more important.

Introduction: Out of Control

Part I: The Wild West Origins of the Border Patrol

Chapter 1. Send Two Coffins

Chapter 2. The Texas Rangers

Chapter 3. Closing the Back Gate

Chapter 4. They Have No Right to Go into the Interior

Chapter 5. Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

Chapter 6. A Reasonable Distance

Part II: The Supreme Court

Chapter 7. Law and Order

Chapter 8. Terrorists in Suits

Chapter 9. Change of Heart

Chapter 10. Rank Racism

Chapter 11. Mexican Haircuts

Chapter 12. A Sixth Sense

Chapter 13. Free to Stop Any and All Motorists

Part III: The One-Hundred-Mile Zone

Chapter 14. America’s Frontline

Chapter 15. Hostile Terrain

Chapter 16. Checkpoint Nation

Chapter 17. Somebody Speaking Spanish

Chapter 18. The Everywhere Border

Conclusion

Notes

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