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Border Patrol Checkpoint Monitoring Campaign Reveals Systemic Racial Discrimination against Latinos by BP

 Borderlands Community to Join National Day of Protest

For Immediate Release
[July 7, 2014]

People  Helping People

(405) 437-4704

(520) 398- 3093



Who: Arivaca residents and their supporters

What: Community members will staff a Know Your Rights booth south of the Border Patrol checkpoint on Arivaca Rd. where motorists driving north will receive information as well as “No Checkpoints” signs to place on their vehicles in protest. Residents will also establish a humanitarian aid water station. There, vehicles driving south will receive water gallons for migrants and refugees they may encounter in the arid and deadly migration corridor around Arivaca. Residents will also be monitoring the checkpoint to deter abuse and document rights violations.

Where: Arivaca Road Border Patrol Checkpoint, Amado, Arizona, Mile Marker 22

When: Wednesday, July 9th, 8 am – 11 am


Arivaca, AZ- Wednesday, July 9th

The community of Arivaca continues its efforts to have the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Arivaca Road removed.  This action comes on the heels of a community-based push to monitor the checkpoint this Spring. Residents and their supporters observed and documented Border Patrol operations at the Arivaca Road checkpoint on more than twenty occasions in a two-month period. The monitoring effort sought to produce statistical information on the apprehensions, interdictions, and enforcement activities that occur at the checkpoint in order to independently assess its efficacy and impact. Monitors also sought to deter rights violations and abuses at the checkpoint by providing third-party oversight.

A recent New York Times article, “Border Patrol Scrutiny Stirs Anger in Arizona Town,” notes that, “only 2 percent of the unauthorized immigrants captured by the Border Patrol in each of the past four fiscal years were apprehended at checkpoints, according to statistics provided by Customs and Border Protection.” However inland Border Patrol checkpoints serve another strategic function of driving migration traffic further into remote regions of the Sonoran desert. As a consequence, the remains of hundreds of migrants have been recovered from this region annually due to dehydration, heat illness, and other preventable maladies.

Arivaca Residents have been struggling for the removal of the checkpoint on Arivaca Road for a year. Last fall, over one third of the residential population signed a petition calling for its removal. The petition outlined the economic impacts, frequent rights violations, racial profiling and deepening humanitarian crisis, among other damages caused by the presence of the checkpoint. Community members and their supporters then delivered the petition en masse to Tucson Sector Border Patrol personnel at the checkpoint on December 8th, 2013. After receiving a letter from Chief Manual Padilla, Jr. stating that the checkpoint would not be removed, residents announced their plans to commence independent monitoring.

Residents are now compiling and analyzing the data collected and are anticipating an August release date for making that information available to the public. Until then, monitors continue to station themselves regularly at the checkpoint on Arivaca Road, and the community remains steadfast in its commitment to compel the removal of this and all inland Border Patrol checkpoints.

Visit for further updates on this ongoing campaign.

NEWS For Immediate Release                                                                                          

(October 19, discount

Arivaca, AZ – October 19, 2014   Residents of Arivaca, Arizona released today the initial findings of a community checkpoint monitoring campaign which show Border Patrol agents engaged in systemic unlawful conduct at the Arivaca Road Checkpoint, located 25 miles north of the border with Mexico.

Volunteers who monitored the seven-year old “temporary” checkpoint shared with residents and media the data compiled during more than 100 hours of monitoring between February and April of this year, in which 2,379 vehicles were observed passing through the checkpoint.

Analysis of the data revealed the following significant facts:

  • Persons in Latino-occupied vehicles were 26 times more likely to show identification than those in White-occupied vehicles
  • Latino- occupied vehicles were nearly 20 times more likely to be ordered to secondary inspection, where the vehicles were then searched, sometimes with canines
  • None of the 2,379 vehicle stops resulted in the apprehension of a citizen or non-citizen and no contraband was seized


For the past year, local residents have struggled to remove the Arivaca Road checkpoint, beginning by documenting abuses of residents at the checkpoint. A petition to remove the checkpoint, signed by nearly half of Arivaca’s residents, was rejected by the Border Patrol in December, 2013 and the agency has refused to hold agents accountable or provide the community with basic checkpoint data.

Monitors began observing the Arivaca Road checkpoint in February, 2014. Border Patrol responded by severely restricting public access to the checkpoint and harassing monitors, which impeded their ability to monitor effectively. Residents say the heavy-handed response is typical of Border Patrol’s lack of public accountability.

During today’s information release event, a long-time Arivaca resident, spoke movingly of her experiences at the checkpoint where, unlike her non-Latino friends and neighbors, she has been forced to show her passport in order to prove her U.S. citizenship

Debbie Seat, a California resident who grew up in Arivaca , related her recent assault by a Border Patrol agent at the checkpoint after a visit with her father who still lives in the area. Seat, the wife of a retired Air Force colonel and sister-in-law to a narcotics officer with the Tucson Police Department, was never asked any questions regarding her citizenship, but was detained for 45 minutes in secondary inspection where a Border Patrol agent insisted repeatedly that she was transporting drugs even after a search of her car revealed that to be false. The agent grabbed Seat’s cell phone from her hand and looked through it.

Also shared was the disturbing video of an Arivaca woman who managed to record the Border Patrol harassment she experienced in 2013, where the supervisory agent forced her from her car and harangued her at length about respecting authority and insisted she shouldn’t be worried about her civil rights.

In light of the monitoring data findings and the continuing experiences of Arivaca residents and visitors, the checkpoint monitoring volunteers declared their intention to continue monitoring to the best of their ability, and renewed the following demand:

  • Immediate removal of the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Arivaca Road


Special Project Needs: 

  • We would like to have our website translated into Spanish so that it can be a bilingual site.
  • We need general desing and upkeep help with this site.
  • Art and logo designs for murals, melanoma
    posters, sickness
    shirts, and stickers.

Locals are always encouraged to help out at the Aid Office.  We also need folks to help out with art projects, events, fundraising, outreach, trainings, and workshops.  If you are in the area please stop in, or give us a call today! 520-398-3093

Those of you who live out of town and want to come volunteer with us for a period of time are also welcome.  We do not have a formal system to receive out of town volunteers, but we would be happy to help you find a place to live in Arivaca.  We always need help with our various projects and could surely keep you busy.  It is more fluid and useful to have people come down who plan to be around for at least two months.  Many folks who come to the Tucson/Arivaca area to volunteer with No More Deaths are also excited to help out with our projects in the community.  In fact we have two fabulous volunteers that decided to move to Arivaca after volunteering with No More Deaths, and have had other NMD volunteers who lived here for several months working with us.


Border Community Day of Action

Please see the full press release here and check out this video! The May 27th community hearing at the Arivaca Road checkpoint was a huge success!  The

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