Latinos are disappearing. Some have been detained on suspicion of immigration violations, others have fled in fear. There are allegations of racial profiling. And no, not in Arizona. Rather, the Olympic Peninsula, a remote stretch of Washington state accessible only by a single road, separated from Canada by the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Since 2006, the number of Border Patrol agents there has jumped from four to 40, the New York Times reports.
The Patrol is even building a base capable of housing 50 officers there. Though it says its priority is catching smugglers and terrorists, one agent based there testified before Congress last year that the place was a "black hole" with "no purpose, no mission." Except, many say, catching Latino immigrants; it apprehended 591 last year. The ACLU and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have both filed lawsuits alleging racial profiling. "Everybody's scared," says one Latino resident. "Everybody's leaving."