WOODSTOCK, New Hampshire - 9 people were arrested during a Memorial Day weekend Border Patrol checkpoint on I-93 in Woodstock, New Hampshire.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Boston 25 News those arrested were charged with violations of immigration law.
Ginna Schonwald was on her way back home with a friend on Sunday when they came across the checkpoint.
"We were kind of like scrambling to get out documents, but they didn't ask for them," Schonwald told Boston 25 News.
Schonwald said the Border Patrol agent looked in their car and asked if they were U.S. citizens. When they replied they were, he said "ok" and let them continue on their way.
"I thought we were waved through because we were white and if we had not been white, I think we would have been asked to show some documentation," Schonwald said. "It felt like racial profiling."
Schonwald said she found the checkpoint disturbing.
"I hate to think of the way our country has been demonizing immigrants lately. We're all immigrants. My family was from Ireland and they got treated just the same way, but I like to think we're better than that now," Schonwald said.
Full statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
"Border Patrol immigration checkpoints are a critical tool for the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and are part of our defense-in-depth strategy to accomplish the border security mission. Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, Section 1357 of Title 8 of the United States Code, along with several sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, give Border Patrol agents broad law enforcement authorities, including the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence.
At a Border Patrol checkpoint, an agent may question a vehicle’s occupants about their citizenship, place of birth, and request document proof of immigration status, how legal status was obtained and make quick observations of what is in plain view in the interior of the vehicle.
During the course of the immigration inspection, if an occupant refuses to answer an agent’s questions, the agent may detain the driver for a reasonable amount of time until he or she can make a determination regarding the occupant’s immigration status. CBP is committed to the fair, impartial and respectful treatment of all members of the trade and traveling public, and policy prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.”
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