Watertown, NY, Nov 28, 2011 — Democratic Senator Charles Schumer announced Monday the federal government is backing down from its plan to charge ferry boat passengers who come to the US border from Canada a $5.50 fee. The fee will still apply to travelers arriving in the US by plane.
In a press release, Schumer said Customs and Border Protection's decision is an important step toward eliminating the fees entirely. Go to full article
Plattsburgh, NY, Sep 14, 2010 — Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over its searches of electronic devices on the US-Canada border.
The government argues that it has the authority to search the contents of laptops, PDAs, and other electronic devices in the same way that they would search a briefcase or backpack. That means they don't need a warrant and they don't need probable cause. The ACLU says the government searches thousands of computers every year.
Part of the case is based on the experience of Pascal Abidor, an American from New York City who studies at McGill University in Montreal. He was detained at the border crossing north of Plattsburgh in May while traveling home to visit his mother. He says border agents then confiscated his computer.
"They asked everything about my life and about my interests," Abidor says. "Why I'm interested in Islam, why I traveled to the Middle East."
According to Abidor, DHS scrutinized his laptop, looking through files that he considers to be personal. "I was able to determine that they looked extensively at my personal photos and at my saved personal chats with my girlfriend," he said.
ACLU attorney Catherine Crump spoke in-depth about the case with Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's program "On the Media." Go to full article
Jun 11, 2007 — The federal customs officer who allowed a man with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis into the U.S. has been placed on administrative leave. But officials with the Department of Homeland Security now say that more than one officer at the Champlain crossing north of Plattsburgh was warned that Andrew Speaker was crossing the border. Brian Mann has details. Go to full article
Jun 01, 2007 — Federal officials say a border agent in Champlain, north of Plattsburgh, has been reassigned after allowing a man with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis into the US. The Department of Homeland Security has begun an investigation into the apparent lapse. Senator Charles Schumer is now calling for an independent probe. Brian Mann reports. Go to full article