Can the government violate the rights of Americans at the border?
An American named Bradley Jardis came back to the U.S., after a very short trip across the border into Mexico. When asked, he declined to answer how he was planning to use shot glasses, he bought in Mexico, to celebrate. Frankly, this question seems kind of silly and pointless to me, but it brings forth the larger Fifth Amendment issue of self incrimination at a border.
American citizens have the same right against self incrimination, or being forced or required to admit to a criminal offense, at a border as anywhere else. Maybe his stating how or why he bought the glasses would have brought information on some criminal offense of his, no matter how minor.
Oh by the way, at a border station you have no real rights, even as an American citizen, returning. They can go through your laptop and all your files. It seems the 4th Amendment's protections against unnreasonable search and seizures no longer apply at the border, at all. It makes sense to have border searches based on things you might be bring back illegally, such as drugs (though I don't support the drug war), but files on your computer? Hardly. That is just a fishing expedition because computer files aren't tangible things that must be snuck across a border.
Finally, the border agent, named Aldrich, stated to Jardis that he was now in "their system" and he could call, or tattle, on his employer about his attitude. What? A government official tattering on a citizen for standing up for his rights? If that is what he said and if he does that, than he should be fired. Jardis by the way is a former cop, so he knows what he is talking about.
Also, it is a bad thing if you get into one of these immigration databases, because U.S. citizens have been illegally deported based on being in these computers. Lastly, the border agent refused to give the names of the other agents involved in this arrest. Uniformed officers, when they use force and authority, are required to give their names. If they didn't, they could abuse their authority, and violate the law, at will.