Screenshots from a video filmed by Ana Suda after being asked for documentation simply for speaking Spanish at a gas station in Montana.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ana Suda via NY Post
Earlier this week, two U.S. citizens were detained by a border patrol agent in Montana simply for speaking Spanish. The two detainees are Mexican-American women who were both born in the U.S. They speak fluent Spanish and had simply stopped at a gas station to buy milk and eggs when the border patrol agent overheard them speaking Spanish. He asked for documentation and they were shocked at the blatant racial profiling.
Speaking Spanish is not a valid reason for Border Patrol to question or detain you.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 21, 2018
The women were detained in the parking lot for about 40 minutes while the officer checked their documents. At that time, one woman pulled out her cell phone to film a video asking why the officer asked for documentation. He responded that it wasn’t racial profiling but he heard Spanish in a place where it’s not common to hear that language.
The town where this incident occurred lies about 35 miles from the Canadian border. Border patrol agents do have more authority for questioning when they are within 100 miles of the border, however, they are not allowed to stop or detain someone solely on their race or ethnicity.