United States v. Brignoni-Ponce
Concerns about racial and ethnic profiling by law enforcement have bedeviled American courts for decades. These concerns gained new currency following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. Issues involving profiling have become intertwined with debates about immigration and the porous nature of international borders, with particular attention directed at undocumented aliens crossing the Mexico-U.S. border. The constitutional issues surrounding border enforcement have involved the U.S. Supreme Court in deciding the limits of law enforcement powers to search and detain individuals at or near the international border. In essence, the Court has had to determine which tactics used by the U.S. Border Patrol run afoul of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. In United States v. Brignoni-Ponce , the U.S. Supreme Court confronted the issue of roving patrols stopping vehicles near an international border to inquire about citizenship ...