THREE POINTS, AZ — A mother says that while driving her children home from school on a dirt road in Arizona, she was stopped by lawless Border Patrol agents who threatened her with weapons, forcibly searched her, slashed her tire and left her stranded in the desert.
Clarisa Christiansen had just picked up her 7-year-old daughter from elementary school, and was traveling down a backcountry road. She also had her 5-year-old son in the truck. All three are U.S. citizens that reside in Three Points, Arizona, about 40 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The family was completing the 15-mile journey when they were stopped by a group of 3 federal agents performing a roving border patrol stop. The stop took place about 2:15 p.m. on May 21st, 2013.
Ms. Christiansen was then approached by one of the agents, as she sat parked in the driver’s seat with her children strapped in the back seat. The agent began to question her. First she was asked if she was a U.S. citizen. She responded affirmatively, “Yes. Is there a problem?”
The agent peered into her windows and observed her children strapped helplessly in the back seat. The agent then requested that she exit her vehicle so that he could search it, according to the account provided in an ACLU document. Christiansen declined, saying she did not consent to searches. She requested to know why she was stopped. The agent refused to tell her, and kept demanding that she exit. As the two went back and forth, the agent became “clearly agitated” at her exercising her rights.
“I was put in a situation where I was in the middle of nowhere,” Christiansen later narrated. “Three agent men against one woman with her two children in the middle of the desert, where nobody’s around, they could have done anything to me and my kids.