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ACLU sues Customs and Border Protection over body cavity search

The New Mexico and Texas chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union are suing border agents and medical professionals after they subjected a U.S. citizen to a numerous invasive body cavity searches.

Named in the lawsuit filed Wednesday are two U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervising agents, two other CBP agents, as well as doctors of the University Medical Center of El Paso. The lawsuit alleges CBP agents frisked and strip-searched a woman, then delivered her in handcuffs to the hopsital, where doctors observed a bowel movement and performed rectal and vaginal probes among other exams.

The agents released the woman after six hours of searches turned up no contraband.

In the lawsuit, in which the plaintiff uses a pseudonym, Jane Doe, the ACLU says the legal action “concerns constitutional limits on the government’s ability to invade a person’s most intimate bodily spaces to search for drugs without any judicial oversight or even reasonable suspicion.”

CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit follows another case in which Deming police officers subjected a man to three enemas, two anal probes and a colonoscopy. The man had been pulled over for a routine traffic stop; no drugs were discovered during the probes.


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