Which committee is responsible for providing oversight at our borders?

Friday, September 27, 2013


Bob reads listener responses to producer Sarah Abdurrhaman’s piece“My Detainment Story or: How I learned to Stop Feeling Safe in My Own Country and Hate Border Agents.”  Brooke talks to former congressman Lee H. Hamilton, co-author of a recent report calling for reform of the Department of Homeland Security, about how the DHS can, and should, work better.


Lee Hamilton

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone

Comments [10]

tim ryan from Huntington Beach, CA

I commend Brooke and Bob for keeping on this story. The NY Times has already opened the page to the next chapter of the continuing saga of TSA disregard for American's constitutional rights. Susan Stellin's news report of October 21, 2013 "The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases...the new measures give the government greater authority to use travelers’ data for domestic airport screenings. Previously that level of scrutiny applied only to individuals entering the United States." Now the best advice before taking a commercial flight is to check that all your library fines, utility bills, parking tickets and traffic tickets are paid, that your criminal record has no outstanding warrants or unresolved probation/parole violations, alimony and child payments are up to date, credit card payments aren't overdue, student loan payments are current, etc.

Oct. 27 2013 06:13 PM
Marl Balou from Seattle

Wow - basically what Lee Hamilton stated is that normal citizens can't do much. The agents can run rough shod over any one at their whim and there is no recourse or any check & balance. Writing a letter and someone may read it is like a 18th century half baked solution.

Oct. 12 2013 07:18 PM

I appreciate the stories about the problems at boarders, and the interview with Terry Bressi, whose videos I've enjoyed.

However, I found only one thing missing from your reports: you provide us with no information about what our rights are in these situations. I know you've tried to ask the DHS, and CBP about this, but as you have found these people aren't about to tell you what you rights are.

You need to speak with the ACLU and the EFF, both who have done extensive work in these areas. The ACLU publishes a document detailing exactly what your rights are at ports of entry: https://www.aclu.org/files/kyr/kyr_english_5.pdf - I'm sure they would be happy to be on your show! The EFF has done a signficant amount of work related to electronic device search/seizure and would be a good source for some information in that respect as well

Oct. 03 2013 08:06 PM
Francisco from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

One of the easiest recipes for disaster is to have two many "chiefs" because they will, inevitably, contradict one another meaning that those under them are able to do what they like and still claim that they were following [confused] orders.

Oct. 02 2013 12:49 AM
Moonbat from New York City

Very interesting follow-up, OTM - thank you. Lee Hamilton had a great perspective for explaining how things work in Congress on this issue and how individuals and groups can be effective.
Will Sarah A. be contacting her Representative? Would love to hear the outcome.

Oct. 02 2013 12:12 AM

Protesting the treatment is important. How to change the policy or how the policy is carried out is a much trickier issue. Lee Hamilton was sort of right in contacting your Member of Congress directly rather than the House/Senate committees (or members thereof). This is more of a technical understanding of how Hill offices generally work, where mainly incoming messages are accepted if they come from actual constituents. Committees generally do not have the resources to listen and/or respond to large numbers of people. (I worked for many Members and helped develop the Internet method of contacting Congress)

But there may also be public comment opportunities in the Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/

Regardless, there are many ways to organize an effort, from general petitions to marches to PR, etc.

Let me know if you want help or advice. Many of my family live in Canada and we are used to crossing the border without incident, but the disrespect and mistreatment voiced is horrifying to hear about and should be stopped.

Sep. 30 2013 12:18 PM
Moe from US

From listening to this podcast it is clear that On the Media is advocating the the US have an open immigration policy, even during the Great Recession.

The sad thing is that On The Media does not have a mandate to argue for a policy. This program is supposed to be about communications.

Sep. 28 2013 02:43 PM
brett from Tennessee

I appreciate the continued coverage of this story. Please stay with this story. Love the show.

Sep. 28 2013 11:18 AM
Muhammad Tariq from South Bend IN

Hi there,
I like this story, because it seem like my own story. I usually go Canada 20-30 times a year because of my job, and every time I have to humilate, racial profile, embarce and degrade.
Seem like I have no one to compllain and how I feel.

Sep. 28 2013 07:56 AM
Ana from Bergen County NJ

After crossing the border by car and legally many times in my life, I have come to known that a check point could be anywhere in the USA territory withing 70 miles! after crossing the border at any point.

Sep. 28 2013 07:39 AM

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