Klassy’s Defense of Havre Border Patrol Agent
Havre, Montana showed up on Fox News, CNN, and in the Washington Post earlier this week. This, after a border patrol agent on the Hi-Line Montana town questioned two women at a gas station who he overheard speaking Spanish. (KTVH-TV in Helena was first to report this story)
The charges of "racial profiling" were quickly thrown out to propel this story into the national news headlines. But, what about that time when a white guy in downtown Havre was also questioned by Border Patrol agents?
Todd Klassy is an incredible Montana photographer. Earlier this week, he posted a piece on his blog in defense of the Havre border agent, and also talked about that one time when he himself was questioned in downtown Havre:
What she should know is that Havre is located a mere 40 miles from Canada, which places it within a special border protection zone authorized under the Patriot Act where agents are given greater authority to stop people, conduct searches, and ask to see documentation. You may not like the law, but unfortunately in a democratic republic such as the United States, you cannot pick and choose what laws you want to follow. I learned this same lesson when a Border Patrol agent stopped me (no, I wasn't speaking Spanish) while making photos in downtown Havre in the middle of the night. I reminded the agent it wasn't illegal for me to make photos while the rest of the city was sleeping. He agreed, but said because I was located within 100 miles of the Canadian border I could be questioned and asked to verify my identification. Of course I complied, but I made sure to verify his claim on the Internet. And he was right. What's more, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to have the law changed in 2014. And they lost.
Frankly, the proof is in the pudding. In 2003 an Iraqi refugee was arrested by Border Patrol agents in Havre for being in the United States illegally. In 2004 a Vietnamese national was arrested for the same thing. A Tunisian citizen and a Palestinian citizen were also arrested for plotting to transport explosives into Montana and derail a passenger train. In 2014 Border Patrol agents arrested an American man riding the Amtrak train when it stopped in Havre because he was caught carrying 17 lbs. of marijuana. In 2017 Montana Border Patrol agents arrested five Romanian nationals who were here illegally. That same year agents arrested a 25 year old Canadian man who entered the United States illegally when he cut down a border fence and drove his truck through. And in a separate incident that same year, Border Patrol agents arrested an Irish man who illegally entered the U.S. from Canada. And arrests like these happen all of the time.
Click here to read Klassy's full post.
Video of the interaction with the border patrol agent and the two women who were overheard speaking Spanish can be seen below: