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Arizona residents protest Border Patrol checkpoints

AMADO, Ariz. — Southern Arizona residents are rallying against what they say is the militarization of their communities by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Residents of Arivaca spent Wednesday morning protesting at an immigration checkpoint in Amado, about 20 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

About 40 activists said they planned on taking over the checkpoint, but they obeyed commands to stay off the road.

Residents of Bisbee also planned on holding a demonstration, and four other communities were planning events. They said checkpoints lead to racial profiling.

Tucson Sector Chief Manny Padilla said the checkpoints are crucial to the Border Patrol’s security strategy. The agency said the checkpoints help catch human smugglers and deter other criminal activity.

It’s legal for the agency to have checkpoints within 100 miles of the border.