Homeland Security?

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

Homeland Security Property Seizures

One possible explanation as to why Border Patrol agents prefer to profile travelers on public highways as opposed to apprehending illegal border crosser's at the border may be due to the fact that the latter are usually not driving in vehicles or carrying much property that can be readily seized and forfeited in order to augment Homeland Security budgets.

Asset forfeiture practices have become big business for big government and a recent report titled Policing For Profit put out by the Arizona based Goldwater Institute sheds some light on these policies as practiced by Arizona law enforcement agencies.

In a three month period towards the end of 2003, Border Patrol agents in Arizona seized over 900 vehicles.
An article in the Tucson Citizen discussing the 18 fold increase in vehicle seizures by the Border Patrol this year.
INS and Customs Service officials on the Southwest border have ceased the practice of seizing vehicles used to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the US. The change is the result of a law passed last summer that makes it more difficult to seize property when no criminal charges are filed. The same law makes it easier to challenge government seizures and requires the government to pay the legal costs of successful challengers. Faced with these factors, the INS is now seizing cars only in cases involving repeat offenders and when the immigrants' lives are endangered. The agency also questions the value of such seizures in combating smuggling. Since the law went into effect, vehicle seizures have dropped from about 1,000 a month to around 60.

Homeland Security