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Texas Border Check Points?

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I'm planning a trip this winter along the southern border of Texas. I notice on Google Earth at least one boarder check point that is not on the boarder of Mexico but several miles into Texas! Are these check points a Hassel? Are they fixed location or do they move around like DOT check points? What can I expect at these places?

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The check points are generally in fixed positions, although on occasion they might have a temporary one on a minor road. The ones on IH10 are placed under large metal covers (carports).

 

They are generally not a problem for non-Hispanics, if you don't mind answering personal questions. Most of the time, the agent will just ask you if you are an American citizen, then wave you on through. I have been questioned more thoroughly, such as "where are you headed", "where have you been", "how long have you been in the area", etc. If you stand on your constitutional rights, they may detain you longer and question you further.

 

If you want to avoid them altogether, stay further north.

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The Border Patrol checkpoints we've run across have been in a fixed location, although, as chirakawa says, you may occasionally come across a temporary one.

 

We've never had any problems going through one. I'm not sure we've ever been asked where we're headed, but we have been asked where we're coming from, and if we're American citizens. They've never asked for any proof of same.

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The border checkpoint nearest El Paso on I-10 is for eastbound traffic. Going west through there I don't recall even seeing a place for a checkpoint, but we were certainly not checked. A couple of other comments. When in an RV watch where they are directing you. Once they had us enter the lane for the big rigs, however, the rest of the times they directed RVs into the lane for cars. They also don't need to ask a lot of questions because by the time you talk to a person, you will have passed a number of cameras and scanning devices as well as having your vehicle checked by dogs around the outside. If you are a citizen and they find nothing to interest them further the only real hassle is the time it can take to get through.

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While I have never heard of an RV'er having a problem with the border checkpoint, if the agent or the dog sniffing your vehicles detects drugs or explosives they can and will do a thorough inspection. If they have reason to believe there is something hidden behind fixed panels they could open up the panels for inspection. They don't put them back when finished. Not to scare anyone, but, dont carry stuff which would cause the border patrol to inspect your vehicle.

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It's not just in south Texas, you'll find CBP checkpoints all over the SW, from Ca, Az, NM to Tx. The US Congress, long ago, authorized the CBP to use checkpoints anywhere within 100 miles of the border. The US Supreme Court has upheld their right to do so after several court challenges. There is a fixed checkpoint on I-10 west between my NM winter ranch and Las Cruces NM where I go for frequent shopping trips. I get to know the agents on a 1st name basis each winter. Its usually a quick question, "are you a US citizen". But they also have a drug dog walk around your vehicle sometimes and at least at this I-10 stop in NM they seem to catch more drug carriers than folks in the country illegally.

They used to also have one on hwy 26 between Deming and Hatch NM, but they closed that one last year.

 

 

 

 

I'm planning a trip this winter along the southern border of Texas. I notice on Google Earth at least one boarder check point that is not on the boarder of Mexico but several miles into Texas! Are these check points a Hassel? Are they fixed location or do they move around like DOT check points? What can I expect at these places?

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In general they are a brief nuisance- we almost had an issue though. As fulltimers we move a lot and weren't prepared when he asked us where we were coming from. I wasn't even listening- he asked my husband, Hubby's mind went blank and he looked at me, but I didn't even know the question! Finally he blurts out "Del Rio!" Agent says "so you were just passing through? " Hubby responds that no, we stayed there for 4 days. Now agent is a little suspicious- "big vacation, you stayed there for 4 days and you couldn't remember the town???" Hubby says " no, we are full time RVers. " Guy says "ahhhhhh" and waves us on.

 

whew!

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A big smile and a polite "Yea sir," will go a long way to smoothing the encounter. Don't get your back up about your "rights" They are doing a tough job and not getting paid a lot to do it and they do believe (hopefully) that they are protecting us

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Being we winter in Yuma, AZ. we go thru check points frequently. Every once in awhile they will set up a temporary station in some remote areas. Never been a problem. As far as Hispanics passing thru check points, being the area we are in, shoot we are usually "sandwiched" between vehicles that are total Hispanics and I have never seen a problem. Only a few times have we ever seen a vehicle pulled into secondary, and that can be any nationality. Most border patrol agents we meet up with are Hispanic in origin. Just is not a problem.

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It's not just in south Texas, you'll find CBP checkpoints all over the SW, from Ca, Az, NM to Tx.

 

Right. The one I mentioned, above, is on AZ-85 between Ajo and Gila Bend, northbound only. We've run into some others, but I don't remember exactly where they've been.

 

Just like at border crossings, I take off my sunglasses, turn the radio off (or down), roll down the window, smile and say "hello."

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As most said you will be in/out in no time. If my wife is in the sleeper as we approach she will move back to the front seat so that they can see her. I did get one that started to get upset that I was in the wrong lane and should be in the Truck lane. With out saying anything I just pointed to the trailer. Quickly he realized he opened his mouth before his eyes and we were cleared and sent on our way.

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Down in the bottom of Texas on 77 north out of Harlingen there is a station. No issues, but the drug dogs were active. We informed the agent that we had 2 cats in the RV and our dog in the truck. He asked about the HDT pulling the RV, said he had seen several and would like to set one up. Very informal, good talk, and off we went.

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Checkpoint going east out of El Paso, we were in line watching the Dog work going back and forth between the lines, looked bored, when BAM, the dog alerted on the car in front of us. Never had seen some alert like that. The dog was happy - "smelled something besides diesel, I'm going to get a reward" tail wag - and the handler did a second walk around the car, dog alerted again, handler nodded to other agent and the several agents appeared out of no where. Dog was praised, petted, and then back to walking around the trucks/cars. They had the car pulled over to the inspection area,

 

Barb

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We've gone through those checkpoints very easily many, many times. Just be polite and don't offer information. They'll be the ones asking the questions and usually a quick yes or no suffices. It just takes a minute but the line waiting will be a little longer although they work fast. They can easily spot 'what' and the 'who' types they detain longer. The dogs are, indeed, awesome to watch work. It'll be a very easy process for you!

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Several trips through and not an issue wit the RV. I had more issues as a auto vehicle when I was working and traveled to the valley.

 

The generally ask if you are a citizen of the US and had you been into Mexico. Sometimes where you had been and for how long.

 

Just be polite and answer their questions directly.

 

Every once in a while, they may just pull some at random over to the side for more questions and a quick look around. This usually when they are not very busy.

 

Have a great trip.

 

Ken

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We have never had to stop at one of these checkpoints.....have always been waved through before I even get a chance to stop. Maybe its my Canadian license plates....dunno.

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As a native of Southern New Mexico and West Texas, I've been transiting these checkpoints for almost 50 years (I'm older than that, but didn't start driving at birth...). I have NEVER had to come to a full stop - even when pulling the RV. They just ask for citizenship and wave us on. In the '70s when I was stationed in Texas and traveled to Las Cruces for holidays, etc, I always had my .45 revolver in the car. Heading back east, I would just put it up on the dashboard when approaching the BP checkpoint so they could see it... was still just asked for citizenship and waved on. The firearms thing may have changed a bit since 9/11 (and I didn't have a CCP in those days).

 

The only time I was ever hassled a little at a border crossing was going into Canada when a birth certificate was all that was required. The Canadian customs official didn't know what to make of my antique New Mexico birth certificate (white on black like an old blueprint) with all locations being Spanish names. He got kinda mean when I informed him that NM was part of the U.S... On the way back, the USBP agent was a Mexican-American from the Rio Grande valley. He'd been sent up there TDY and was homesick. He wanted to hold up traffic and talk about home!

 

Rob

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Howdy,

 

We had an "interesting" experience with a fixed CBP checkpoint a few years ago, when driving in South Arizona (between Ajo and Organ Pipes National Park, if memory serves).

 

We slowed to a crawl right next to the officer who was doing the checking, but as he didn't sign for us to stop or anything, we just kept going through. He yelled "STOP!" and slapped the side of the motorhome, and we immediately stopped, and got a lecture on "you must always stop, never run through a checkpoint". We apologized and answered some questions, provided him with our passports, waited while he went somewhere to check them, then answered a few more questions and were sent on our way.

 

So, the lesson is to always stop by the officer, don't wait for him to sign for you to stop.

 

Cheers,

--

Vall.

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At times there is confusion along the AZ-CA border as to which entity they are stopping for - California inspections or Border Patrol. You always stop for the Border Patrol, but often one is just waved through the CA inspection station, we've even been through when no one is there. But just assume you are going to stop and unless obviously waved through, come to a stop, then move forward if no one is there.

 

Barb

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I have found it much easier if I'm the one who initiates the conversation. I've come to the conclusion that they really don't care where you've been. They just ask that question to get you talking. They want to ascertain your command of the english language.

 

Jim

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i read a lot here where people say do worry about your rights.

dont care about your birth rights, then they will be taken from you.

there is a differnce betwen a birth right and a privlage.

as for the dogs.  a border agent can just say the dog "hit" on something, even when it did not.

the probal cause search is way over used.

 

we do have the freedom to travel unmolested within this country.

sure say yes/no but answer NO other questions. give non direct answers.

not saying be like those posting on the web. but you are not required to answer the intergations.

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4 minutes ago, Big5er said:

Wow. 

I read the post 3 times but am still not sure what he was saying........

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2 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

I read the post 3 times but am still not sure what he was saying........

LOL :D I almost spewed my Dr. Pepper on the screen. Thanks for the laugh Kirk.

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I used this term in a PM recently.  I think he may be getting some of his legal advice from the "3rd toilet from the left"  or maybe youtube.  I applaud that he is at least considering things but hope he keeps and open mind and not be blinded by retoric.

I remember when there were check points go into Ark from Texas :o to check for plants mostly cotten I think. Used to be common in a lot of places.

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