San Diego teacher records confrontation with Border Patrol agent - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego teacher records confrontation with Border Patrol agent

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A San Diego teacher’s tense confrontation with a Border Patrol agent has gone viral after the agent asked her if she was an American citizen at a checkpoint in New Mexico.

San Diego mother and middle school teacher Shane Parmely refused to answer the agents’ question: whether she was a U.S. citizen.

“You can ask me, we don’t have to answer,” Parmely said she told the agent.

As Parmely’s family recorded the lengthy interaction, which she publicly posted on her Facebook page, an agent showed her a card listing immigration law.

Parmely: “Am I free to go, or are you detaining me?"

Agent: “You are being detained, ma'am.”

Parmely said she refused to answer in show of solidarity with some of her friends who claim they or their children have been aggressively interrogated by Border Patrol agents.

“It’s horrifying to hear what has happened to my friends’ kids who are just brown,” she said.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Border Patrol said:

“Border Patrol checkpoints are critical tool for the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. At a Border Patrol checkpoint, an agent may question a vehicle’s occupants about their citizenship, place of birth, and request document proof of immigration status, how legal status was obtained and make quick observations of what is in plain view in the interior of the vehicle. During the course of the immigration inspection, if an occupant refuse to answer an agent’s questions, the agent may detain the driver for a reasonable amount of time until he or she can make a determination regarding the occupant’s immigration status. It is agency policy that all individuals with whom we interact are treated with dignity and respect.”

Parmely said that she and her family were detained for approximately 90 minutes before she was ultimately released.

She did not answer the agent’s question.

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