Two American citizens were detained and interrogated by the Border Patrol in Montana because they were speaking Spanish. Ana Suda, who was born in the United States but raised in Mexico, and Mimi Hernandez - who was born in California -- were shopping at the Town Pump convenience store in Havre, which is a town near the Canadian border. Suda recorded a video the incident that she shared with KTVH-TV of Montana. According to both Suda and Hernandez, they were at the store late at night to buy eggs and milk. The two Americans of Mexican ancestry are fluent Spanish-speakers.

Suda told the Washington Post, "We were just talking, and then I was going to pay," and added, "I looked up (and saw the agent), and then after that, he just requested my ID. I looked at him like, 'Are you serious?' He's like, 'Yeah, very serious.'"

Out in the parking lot of the store, Suda asked the Border Patrol agent to state his reasons for the detention. The video recorded the agent saying, "Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here." The agent denied that racial discrimination was the motive of the stop. Suda said that the detention lasted approximately a half hour. According to the Washington Post, Suda is planning to take legal action. The officer identified himself as Agent O’Neill in the video.

In the video, one of the two women addresses the camera states that she and her companion were shopping for “milk and eggs” and were stopped because “we have an accent and speak Spanish.” The agent asked for their identification and can be seen calling with his radio. "I was so embarrassed … being outside in the gas station, and everybody's looking at you like you're doing something wrong," she said. "I don't think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know? My friend, she started crying. She didn't stop crying in the truck. And I told her, we are not doing anything wrong." U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reviewing the incident.



Remains of WW2 pilot found on the bottom of Pacific Ocean

U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...


Short Link

Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

Do you like what you just read?

Back our investigations with an immediate financial contribution. Spero News operates on the financial support from you and people like you who believe in media independence and free speech.