Are DPS checkpoints targeting immigrants?
Wed, 25 Sep 2013 03:50:25 GMT —
Random checkpoints across the valley by DPS have spooked a lot of drivers, especially those who may be living in the valley without proper documentation to be in the US.
"This is an issue of people's rights to move freely to get home, to their job, to be able to stay with their families if they are deported. It's an issue impacting a lot of people in a lot of different ways."
Communications Coordinator of La Union Del Pueblo Entero John Michael Torres has been fielding calls from concerned drivers that Border Patrol is at these checkpoints which pop up at any given time during the day and on any random state roadway.
"We don't know if Border Patrol is really picking people up that have not committed serious crimes
DPS administrators says this is not the case and the public is misinformed.
That could be blamed on several Facebook pages which have gained thousands of followers in just a few days which post checkpoint locations for concerned drivers so they can avoid the area.
We found one that included instructions on what to do if Border Patrol agents are indeed at a checkpoint.
Torres says LUPE is telling anyone who calls them to pick up one of these cards and have it handy just in case.
"If they are asking for your immigration status for no reason, give us a call, we want to know we want to take action on it."
DPS contends Border Patrol is not present at the regulatory checkpoints and say "The checkpoints will not be used to ascertain immigration status."
The checkpoints are used only for the purpose of determining compliance with specific regulatory traffic statutes.
They are looking for drivers to have a valid license and that the vehicle safety and registration requirements are met.
The DPS press secretary says citations or warnings are being issued.
And as for the legality of stopping traffic to check for these safety violations, state and federal courts permit them.
They say if you are abiding by the law, there is nothing to be worried about except maybe waiting in traffic longer than you would like.
LUPE officials remain cautious.
"All of us have rights regardless of documentation. learn your rights because exercising them is the only way to protect them."
A rally in opposition of the checkpoints is planned for Wednesday at the Wal-Mart parking lot on Conway in Mission.