U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents held a surprise checkpoint on an interstate in Maine on Wednesday, questioning drivers about their citizenship status.
Drivers on Interstate 95 were stopped by agents and not allowed to continue until they answered questions about their citizenship, the Bangor Daily News reported.
“If you want to continue down the road, then yes ma’am. We need to know what citizen — what country you’re a citizen of,” an agent said Wednesday, according to the newspaper.
When asked about what would happen if a driver didn’t answer the question, the agent said the person would only be allowed to continued driving if “the agent is pretty sure that you’re U.S. citizens.”
The Daily News reported that it was not immediately known if any detentions or arrests were made as a result of Wednesday’s checkpoint.
CBP spokeswoman Stephanie Malin told the newspaper that agents were conducting a “checkpoint operation.”
“The timing, location, and frequency of our tactical immigration checkpoints are law enforcement sensitive,” Malin said.
“Checkpoints are placed strategically to cover routes that smugglers use to make their way into the interior," she continued. “They allow for inspections of vehicles and occupants on specific roads or highways leaving the border area that are known by law enforcement to have a high volume or high likelihood of transnational smuggling activities.”
The checkpoint was held as the Trump administration faced intense scrutiny for its crackdown on immigration.
President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE signed an executive order Wednesday ending the administration's policy of separating immigrant families detained at the border after widespread criticism over the practice.