Southern Arizona residents protest Border Patrol checkpoints

AMADO, Ariz. (AP) - 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 had 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 say checkpoints lead to racial profiling.

Tucson Sector Chief Manny Padilla says the checkpoints are crucial to the Border Patrol's security strategy. The agency says 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.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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