Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: 'Border Searches' under the Fourth Amendment [Updated June 27, 2008] [open pdf - 157KB]
"This report addresses the scope of the government's authority to search and seize individuals at the border pursuant to the constitutional framework that encompasses the border search exception to the warrant and probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment. This report also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally associated with each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. In addition, this report highlights some of the border security recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission and legislative actions taken in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional 'border searches' in the Court's view. It will be updated as warranted."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31826