Inquiring minds at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) want to know if officers or agents of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or other components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have tried to stop you from taking photographs, filming, or recording publicly-visible scenes and events at US land border crossing points.
As we’ve noted many times in this blog, and as as has been established in court cases in which we have participated, you have the right to photograph and record Transportation Security Administration staff and contractors at TSA checkpoints at airports.
We haven’t talked about land “ports of entry” as much as airports, but you also have the right to photograph and record at land border crossings, at least if you do so from places accessible to members of the public who aren’t crossing the border. (We don’t mean to suggest that you don’t also have the right to record or livestream what happens to you as you cross the border. We think you do, but that hasn’t yet been litigated as extensively.)
Read on for more about the state of the law, what you can do to reduce the chances that your right to photograph and record near borders will be violated, and what to do if it is.