Arivaca Residents Monitor Border Patrol Checkpoint

February 26, 2014

(Photo by Michel Marizco-KJZZ)
Residents of Arivaca, Ariz., protested outside of the U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector headquarters, back in January 2014.

Residents from a tiny border town spent several hours Wednesday monitoring a Border Patrol checkpoint. The group is calling for more accountability and less of a government presence.

Arivaca, Ariz. is about 10 miles from the border, with a population of 700. Last year, residents and businesses sent a letter to the Tucson Sector headquarters of the Border Patrol, asking BP to remove the traffic checkpoint on Arivaca Road, the town’s main drag. They also want specific data about traffic stops and detentions at the checkpoint.

That request was denied, so on Wednesday, volunteers started monitoring the checkpoint themselves. Leesa Jacobson said they see the BP presence as...

“A major symbol of what has become a very militarized community. Checkpoints, Border Patrol vehicle patrols, ATVs out in the countryside, helicopters overhead, Border Patrol able to come onto your property," said Jacobson.

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said interior checkpoints are a highly effective tool and that there are no plans to close the outpost on Arivaca Road. Volunteers plan to monitor twice a week, indefinitely.