Border zone

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Border zone marked on a tree on the Finnish-Russian border: no entry.

Border zones are areas near borders that have special restrictions to movement. Governments may forbid unauthorized entry to border zones and restrict property ownership in the area. The zones function as buffer zones specifically monitored by border patrols in order to prevent illegal entry. Restricting entry aids in pinpointing illegal intruders. Between hostile states, the border zone can be heavily militarized with mine fields, barbed wire and watchtowers. Some border zones are designed to prevent illegal immigration, and do not have many restrictions but may operate checkpoints within the border zone to check immigration status. In most places, a border vista is usually included and/or required.

United States Border Patrol has rights to stop anyone with a probable cause at interior checkpoints. However, the United States does not have border zones, because free movement is legal up to the actual border and there are no laws to limit property ownership. Whereas, movement inside a border zone without a license is an offense and results in an arrest. No probable cause is required as the mere presence inside the zone is an offense, if it is intentional.[1] In East German and Soviet practice (the Iron Curtain), inside the border zone there was a death strip. Border guards were required to shoot anyone trying to escape over it.

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