On September 20, 2014, a group of protestors have vowed to bring border traffic from the Pacific Ocean to Brownsville, Texas, to a halt by using their vehicles as barricades, according to an article at The Los Angeles Times.
The protest, engineered in part by Stasyi Barth of Lake Elsinore, California, is meant to bring home Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a 25-year-old ex-Marine reservist with PTSD who was arrested and jailed in Mexico after he took a wrong turn and crossed the border with three loaded guns.
Barth, angry about the flow of illegal immigrants over the Texas border as well what she perceives as inaction by the government to bring the ex-Marine home, organized the the protest alongside Rob Chupp.
Chupp is a truck driver from Indiana who has helped bring together raging patriot groups with machine guns to “police” the US-Mexico border. He is part of a group called the Camp Lone Star that, according to a GoFundMe page soliciting donations, patrols about 6 miles out of the 2000 that the United States and Mexico share as a border.
Together, they say that they have come up with a plan to “Shut Down All Ports.” The website for this action explains their intentions further:
“On September 20, 2014 @ 8:00am PST…
We are a representation of Americans who are unsettled and deeply concerned with our current Administration, in all branches of Federal and State governments. Our mission is to Shut Down, every United States’ Port of Entry on the Southern Border, until our Goals are met.
This action will force the elected officials in The United States and Mexico, to come up with a permanent and legitimate solution for dealing with the Illegal Immigration issue, enforce our rule of law, and bring our Marine,
Sgt. Tahmooressi, home. This protects all American citizens and those legal immigrants who wish to come here through legal channels.”
This endeavor is vital to assist The United States’ economy and the future for all Americans.”
Barth and Chupp plan to be at the San Ysidro crossing, just south of San Diego, one of the country’s busiest ports of entry, on September 20th, at 8 AM to stage their protest, according to the Los Angeles Times:
“If all goes according to plan, protesters driving south on Interstate 5 will turn off their engines just yards before they get to the Mexican border, blocking traffic entering Mexico. On the northbound side of the freeway, Barth hopes drivers will create a barrier across interstates 5 and 805, the two main roads that lead north from the San Ysidro crossing, blocking traffic entering the U.S.”
“You get out of your car and take your keys with you,” she told the Times. “You stand there and wave your American flag and try to get the message to D.C. that they need to close our border.”
Although the idea sounds far-fetched, as most drivers are aware, it doesn’t take but a bit of chaos to cause a horrible traffic jam. The goal of the protests is to make the roads into and out of Mexico “impassable”. Even a small number of cars coming to a halt on a busy freeway could cause enormous headaches for people who must make their way between Mexico and California. (Barth explained that the inconvenience will be offset by the fact that her group has put out a “travel advisory,” and she believes that people will drop their travel plans to support the protest. Yeah, right.)
Barth believes the traffic jam will force elected officials on both sides of the border “to come up with a permanent and legitimate solution for dealing with the illegal immigration issue, enforce our rule of law and bring our Marine home.”
California Highway Patrol and Customs and Border Protection are aware of the planned act of civil disobedience, but have refused to say what their plan of action will be if the protesters succeed in bringing traffic to a grinding halt.
Barth, however, only seems to be vaguely aware that her protest could cost her freedoms or cause her to deal with the criminal justice system. (Creating a traffic jam intentionally violates a myriad of domestic traffic laws as well as leaves the possibility of criminal charges.) When asked if she was going to be arrested for the protest, “I hope not,” she told the Times. “I have quite a few medical issues so that would not be my ideal situation. Most days I can barely move.” Among other ailments, the former computer programmer lives with rheumatoid arthritis, and has been on disability for the past 10 years.
But, she added, “If that’s what it takes, people long before me have been willing to risk everything to ensure that this country stays free and safe and remains true to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”