Urge U.S. Border Patrol to Retrain on What Constitutes Suspicious Behavior

Target: Carla Provost, Acting Chief of U.S. Border Patrol

Goal: Urge Border Control to commit to retraining border patrol agents on suspicious behavior.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent reportedly detained a Montana woman and her friend because they were speaking Spanish at a gas station. Ana Suda and Mimi Hernandez are both legal U.S. citizens, and they were chatting in Spanish while out to buy milk and eggs around midnight on May 16, 2018 in Harve, Montana, a small town on the Canadian border.

Upon being overheard by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Suda and Hernandez were asked where they were born. They were also asked to provide identification. Suda recorded what followed, and in the video, the women asked why they were being questioned. The man, who identified himself as Agent O’Neill, responded, “Ma’am, the reason I asked for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here.” Suda then asked if she and her friend were being racially profiled, and the agent responded no. O’Neill said, “This has nothing to do with that. It’s the fact that it has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking.”

Suda says that she recorded the interaction because she was uncomfortable and afraid: “I picked up my phone and started recording because I wasn’t doing anything wrong. That is the only way you can defend yourself.” The incident kept the women in the parking lot for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Sign this petition to urge Carla Provost, Acting Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, to commit to retraining agents on what is and is not considered suspicious behavior.


Dear Chief Provost,

Two legal U.S. citizens were detained for 35 to 40 minutes while on a regular grocery run, reportedly simply because they were speaking Spanish. The fact that speaking Spanish was considered “suspicious” enough to warrant an identification check is not only embarrassing, but also an overreach of power. I urge you to retrain agents on what is and is not suspicious behavior, so that your agency can more easily focus on its mission to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorist and terrorist weapons from entering the United States and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Verja Melilla

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One Comment

  1. gen agustsson says:

    no more borders in this world.

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