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The general rule is that a border search of a person or his or her effects can be conducted without a warrant and without suspicion as long as it is deemed a routine border search. Routine border searches allow law enforcement agents to properly patrol the borders of the United States because agents may prevent citizens and non-citizens alike from furthering crimes, introducing contraband into the United States, or threatening national security. Furthermore, because courts have held that travelers have a lessened expectation of privacy at the border while the government's interest "in preventing the entry of unwanted persons and effects is at its zenith," searches of outer clothing, luggage, purses, wallets, pockets, or shoes do not substantially infringe on a traveler's privacy rights on balance.
- ↑ See United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 538 (1985) (full-text) ("[r]outine searches of the persons and effects of entrants are not subject to any requirement of reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or warrant.")
- ↑ United States v. Okafor, 285 F.3d 842, 845 (9th Cir. 2002) (full-text).
- ↑ United States v. Flores-Montano, 541 U.S. 149, 152 (2004) (full-text).
- ↑ United States v. Grotke, 702 F.2d 49, 51-52 (2d Cir. 1983) (full-text).