ACLU border checkpoint lawsuit to proceed

CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit challenging the use of checkpoints by the U.S. Border Patrol nearly 100 miles from the Canadian border to proceed.

A judge rejected a motion by Customs and Border Protection to dismiss the lawsuit in which ACLU affiliates in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont argue that the checks represent an unconstitutional search and seizure. The ruling was signed on Thursday.

“Allowing this case to move forward is critical to stopping CBP’s unconstitutional practice of using immigration checkpoints to unlawfully search and seize people in New Hampshire and across New England,” said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jesse Drewniak, of Hudson, New Hampshire, who was one of a group of people stopped at an August 2017 checkpoint in Woodstock, along Interstate 93.

The Border Patrol checkpoints frequently occur on I-93 in Woodstock and elsewhere in northern New England.