Rights at United States Borders


Jon Adams


This article explores protections available under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Contrary to opinions in popular culture, and perhaps even among Customs officials, powers to search, seize, and interrogate at United States border crossings are not unlimited. In the current world climate of security and threat, a discussion regarding the level of intrusiveness available to a zealous Customs agent appears particularly relevant. The article addresses the requirements for search, seizure, and interrogation, as well as the lawful conditions and limits upon each activity.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Human Rights Law | Law | Law and Politics | Law and Society

Date of this Version

April 2004