News & Politics

'Papers, Please.' New York Sets Up Quarantine Checkpoints for People Coming Into the City

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Armed sheriff’s deputies are manning checkpoints across New York City, as well as the airport and bus and train stations, wanting to know where you’ve been and where you’re going. The checkpoints have been initiated to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has hit New York City harder than any other major U.S. city.

I’m sure the deputies are very polite and apologetic, but is it really necessary to pull people aside or out of their cars and ask them questions that are none of the government’s business?

NBC News:

Drivers heading into Gotham via the tunnels and bridges were pulled over at random. Commuters arriving at Penn Station and the Port Authority were scrutinized. And visitors disembarking at area airports were being required to fill out forms and provide contact information.

The questions from the deputies and other officials at the COVID-19 checkpoints were always the same: Where have you been? Where are you headed?

The display of muscle was aimed at enforcing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s travel order, which requires people who have spent at least 24 hours in the dozens of states (and Puerto Rico) where the coronavirus has been spreading like wildfire to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the area.

The order includes New Yorkers returning home, which is probably not going over very well.

Yes, there is a public health interest in trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but at what cost?

New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said his deputies, backed by other law enforcement agencies, “will undertake traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City.”

“The entire team will strive to ensure the deployment balances the critical public health and welfare needs of the residents of the city with the legal protections entitled to all people,” Fucito said.

Those “legal protections” include the right to privacy, but that doesn’t appear to have entered Mayor de Blasio’s thinking. Tucker Carlson thinks de Blasio’s order treats New Yorkers like refugees in a war zone with checkpoints.

Fox News:

“Today, de Blasio announced that he plans to encircle the entire city with military-style checkpoints, not to stop violent criminals, but to prevent people from visiting from other places,” the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host said. “There was no public discussion of this ahead of time, there was no debate. De Blasio just decreed it.”

The message to New Yorkers? Sit down, shut up, and obey.

Carlson added the move sends a troubling message to New Yorkers and reinforces what many were forced to learn as a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failure to protect nursing home residents.

“The people who make the worst decisions … never face consequences for those decisions,” the host said. “Only you do, so shut up and show us your papers, peasant.”

Yes, but it’s for your own good so, deal with it, sucker.

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