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16535exercising the right to remain silent

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  • Randy Conn
    Jan 7, 2009
      I have faced intrusive questions from Immigration and Customs on return from overseas trips.  As a non criminal, I can tolerate the physical inspections as I don't carry contraband or high value items in excess of duty free allowance.  What bothers me is the intrusive questions.  The contents of my brain are private and personal.  Parents teach their children not to talk to strangers.  My theory is that I should be able to pass through Immigration and Customs mute and unconscious with my documents visible for inspection in my shirt pocket.  To speak and answer questions requires effort that I should have a right to withhold if it is mine.

      While studying the old CFR regulations prior to the creation of Homeland Security and merging all the agencies into one, I recall seeing cases that support the rights of agents to question travellers, however I did not see anything stating it is mandatory for the traveller to answer.

      Further, after 30-35 hours of travel mixed with waiting in airports and some poor sleep in the plane, I don't feel like confrontation or making statements, admissions, or confessions that could be documented by a federal officer and turned into an 18 USC 1001 prosecution.  Search for "martha stewart 18 usc 1001 don't talk to feds" for more on this.  Here is a good one:   http://library.findlaw.com/2004/May/11/147945.html

      Most of these Immigration and Customs agents in the airports have handguns on their belts.  This is intimidating.

      In the past I have handed Customs a document I created.  I have attached it below as plain text.  I do have a nicely formatted version that I could upload if needed.

      I would like to hear thoughts and discussions on how best to remain silent on passage through Customs and Immigration.  My document has perhaps too many ideas, and I would like to hear suggestions to simplify my whole approach.  Keep in mind that the Immigration can stamp the customs declaration with a red stamp to mark a secondary inspection.



      NOTICE to ____________________________________

      Notice to the Agent is notice to the Principal. Notice to the Principal is notice to the agent.

      Per Ryder v. United States, 515 U.S. 177, and Federal Crop Insurance v. Merrill, 332 U.S. 380, I am required to initiate a direct challenge to the authority of anyone representing himself or herself as government officer or agent prior to the finality of any proceeding in order to avoid implications of the de facto officer doctrine. When challenged, those posing as government officers and agents are required to affirmatively prove whatever authority they claim. Those who have real authority will never object to demonstrating it and discussing its limits. In the absence of proof, they may be held personally accountable for loss, injury, and damages.

      At this instant, are you acting in your personal or official capacity?

      If official, please present some proof of being a federal officer, such as:

      A. Your constitutional oath of office, as required by 5 U.S.C. §3331;

      B. Your civil commission as agent or officer of the Government of the United States;

      C. Your affidavit declaring that you did not pay for or otherwise make or promise consideration to secure the office (5 U.S.C. §3332).

      If you intend to orally collect information from me, then I need the answers to the following before I can decide whether or not to answer your questions.

      1. Have you received training on how to conduct your duties in compliance with 6CFR5.34?

      2. Is production of the requested information mandatory or voluntary? If mandatory, what published statute, code, and regulation compel me to provide this information?

      3. What is/are the principal purpose or purposes for which the requested information is intended to be used?

      4. Is the information that you seek of such a nature that it can at anytime, now or in the future, be used against me as a link in the chain of evidence in a criminal investigation, or as evidence against me in a criminal prosecution?

      5. Is the information that you seek part of a current criminal investigation?

      6. Are you planning to use the information to establish the basis for referral to other authorities for a criminal investigation or criminal prosecution?

      7. Are you authorized to conduct a criminal investigation, against me or others?

      8. Is the information you seek going to be used to in any way connect me to a criminal investigation or prosecution of another?

      9. What are the routine uses which may be made of the requested information?

      10. With whom will the requested information be shared?

      11. What are the effects on the individual, if any, for failure to provide all or any part of the requested information?

      12. What happens if the individual does not know or remember the requested information?

      13. What happens if the requested information is not carried on the individual's person?

      14. What happens if the requested information was never created?

      15. Do you have the authority to give me a letter on your agency's letterhead that grants said individual unqualified immunity from federal, state, county, and city prosecution based on all information provided to your agency?

      16. Will you give me the letter described in #16?

      I believe that I have a right to choose not to exercise First Amendment rights by remaining silent. I believe that I have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent when asked any questions by any government worker or officer. I authorize and request that you maintain this document in your records in conformance with 6CFR5.34(g).

      Respectfully Submitted,

      Randy Conn 6CFR5.33, 6CFR5.34, 6CFR5.35------>>

      [Code of Federal Regulations]

      [Title 6, Volume 1]

      [Revised as of January 1, 2005]

      From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

      [CITE: 6CFR5.33]

      [Page 24]




      Subpart B--Privacy Act

      Sec. 5.33 Use and collection of social security numbers.

      Each component shall ensure that employees authorized to collect information are aware:

      (a) That individuals may not be denied any right, benefit, or privilege as a result of refusing to provide their social security numbers, unless the collection is authorized either by a statute or by a regulation issued prior to 1975; and

      (b) That individuals requested to provide their social security numbers must be informed of:

      (1) Whether providing social security numbers is mandatory or voluntary;

      (2) Any statutory or regulatory authority that authorizes the collection of social security numbers; and

      (3) The uses that will be made of the numbers.

      [Code of Federal Regulations]

      [Title 6, Volume 1]

      [Revised as of January 1, 2005]

      From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

      [CITE: 6CFR5.34]

      [Page 24-25]




      Subpart B--Privacy Act

      Sec. 5.34 Standards of conduct for administration of the Privacy Act.

      Each component will inform its employees of the provisions of the Privacy Act, including the Act's civil liability and criminal penalty provisions. Unless

      [[Page 25]]

      otherwise permitted by law, the Department shall:

      (a) Collect from individuals only the information that is relevant and necessary to discharge the responsibilities of the Department;

      (b) Collect information about an individual directly from that individual whenever practicable and when the information may result in adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under federal programs;

      (c) Inform each individual from whom information is collected of:

      (1) The legal authority to collect the information and whether providing it is mandatory or voluntary;

      (2) The principal purpose for which the Department intends to use the information;

      (3) The routine uses the Department may make of the information; and

      (4) The effects on the individual, if any, of not providing the information;

      (d) Ensure that the component maintains no system of records without public notice and that it notifies appropriate Department officials of the existence or development of any system of records that is not the subject of a current or planned public notice;

      (e) Maintain all records that are used by the Department in making any determination about an individual with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to ensure fairness to the individual in the determination;

      (f) Except as to disclosures made to an agency or made under the FOIA, make reasonable efforts, prior to disseminating any record about an individual, to ensure that the record is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete;

      (g) Maintain no record describing how an individual exercises his or her First Amendment rights, unless it is expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained, or is pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity;

      (h) When required by the Privacy Act, maintain an accounting in the specified form of all disclosures of records by the Department to persons, organizations, or agencies;

      (i) Maintain and use records with care to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of a record to anyone.

      [Code of Federal Regulations]

      [Title 6, Volume 1]

      [Revised as of January 1, 2005]

      From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

      [CITE: 6CFR5.35]

      [Page 25]




      Subpart B--Privacy Act

      Sec. 5.35 Sanctions and penalties.

      Under the provisions of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, civil and criminal penalties may be assessed.

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