DPS: Checkpoints are not used for immigration

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) started setting up checkpoints across the Rio Grande Valley on September 13th.

Since then, several groups have protested the checkpoints, and many have turned to social media creating pages that pinpoint their location.

DPS tells Action 4 News the random stops are meant to make the roads they patrol safer.

Right now we are asking for compliance on drivers license and insurance, DPS spokesperson Sgt. Johnny Hernandez said.

The multi-agency initiative has increased law enforcement presence in the rural areas of the Valley where DPS normally patrols.

One of the main concerns of people who oppose them is that they target undocumented immigrants and low wage families.

DPS wants to set the record straight.

These traffic regulatory checkpoints have not, and will not be used to check immigrant status, Hernandez said.

According to DPS director Steven McCraw, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy led the state in the number of citations issued by DPS to drivers for no drivers license.

The area is the second highest area for this citation behind Houston.

Authorities also point to criminal activity in South Texas which has caused deadly accidents recently in the Valley.

We want to reduce the fatalities that are going on around here, Hernandez said. This is why we are doing these regulatory checkpoints.

If you come across one, you may not even be stopped.

Troopers randomly choose cars to stop and they are only suppose to ask to see your I.D.

If you are pulled over, they will ask for your insurance card.

If there is a violation you will be given a warning or a citation and we will run a background check to make sure you are not wanted, Hernandez said.

Most drivers are cut loose after showing proper documentation.

DPS is not towing vehicles that are stopped.

If you don TMt have a drivers license, you can have someone who does, pick you and your car up.