New Hampshire Border Patrol checkpoint earns backlash

New Hampshire Border Patrol checkpoint earns backlash
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An inland border patrol checkpoint set up by federal immigration officers off Interstate 89 in New Hampshire is receiving some backlash.  

Last week, Border Patrol agents informed the Lebanon Police Department they'd be conducting the check. Police Chief Richard Mello told the Valley News that the local department was not involved and he was "assuming" officials were checking traveller's immigration status.

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One of 20 officials were stopping all cars in both lanes heading south on I-89 and asked a Valley News reporter and a photographer, "Are you a U.S. citizen?" before allowing them to continue.

Arrests at these checkpoints in New Hampshire have ranged from zero to more than 24.

While inland border checks within 100 miles of the border have occurred since 1953, paper reported that this appeared to be the closest checkpoint to Dartmouth College.

Jeff Sharlett, an associate professor at Dartmouth College, tweeted that the checkpoints align in timing with when international students were showing up, although he didn't know if they were associated.

"But the timing is ugly," Sharlett posted.

The border checks come after agents arrested 18 people in the Lebanon area who did not have proper immigration documentation between July 29 and Aug. 1.

The Welcoming All Nationalities Network of the Upper Valley posted on Facebook in response, sharing the American Civil Liberties Union's guide for those stopped at these points. 

—Updated Friday at 10:46 a.m.