Police Fail to Report Unlicensed Illegal Immigrant Drivers to INS

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

USA Today is running a story headlined "Cities get at illegal immigrants through cars." The article begins with a bold proclamation: "Local officials getting tough on illegal immigrants have a new target: their cars." Only "getting tough" has nothing to do with immigration or deportation. "Communities in Alabama, California, Illinois and elsewhere are using laws that punish drivers without licenses. Cities often tow cars immediately." So drivers without a license get big fines, a tow job and that's it. But wait! Even this approach is under attack. "'There's been a long history of ordinances that don't say anything about immigrants and nothing about national origin, but clearly are aimed at particular groups,' says John Trasviña, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 'They have uniformly been struck down.'" For example, they're challenging a law in Waukegan, Illinois that fines a driver without a license or insurance $500 and impounds their car (more fees). "Ramon Becerra, regional head of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, says it [the city ordinance] promotes racial profiling. Most drivers whose cars are towed are Hispanic, he says." Am I the only one that wonders why this article never questions the fact that police don't/can't check these dangerous drivers' citizenship and pass their cases to immigration authorities where appropriate?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • 50merc 50merc on Aug 15, 2007

    The discussion here is an interesting illustration of a legal doctrine we might call "sympathy for the offender nullification." The effect is to give a kind of immunity to someone/group who, although clearly a transgressor, are thought to deserve forgiveness. It's like jury nullification, when a murder defendant is acquitted by a jury that agrees the victim "deserved killing." Or that "if [the defendant] hadn't done it, then someone else would've." USA Today ran that headline because, in its view, the purpose of enforcing license and insurance requirements was to victimize people they thought should be immune from those laws. So: the offender is poor, therefore shouldn't be asked to buy insurance; The offender is here illegally, so shouldn't be asked to get a driver license. The offender is here for a noble purpose (to live better), so shouldn't be expected to respect immigration laws. My state demands proof of insurance to register a vehicle. But it also agrees with the notion that some folks are too poor to be truly required to have insurance. It tolerates the practice whereby people buy a basic policy and use the proof of it to get a car licensed, then immediately cancel the policy for a refund. It's just a little hiccup in the offender's cash flow, then they're good to go!

  • VLAD VLAD on Aug 15, 2007

    Loser Boy, Due process can take many forms, of course they should be treated humanely, but they should be shipped out quickly. Bottom line is that they are the financial responsibility of their own government, not ours. They grossly degrade services for our own people. If it needs to go in front of the Supreme Court again, so be it and as soon as possible. The biggest failure of most well meaning but naive people, is the failure to comprehend the exponential function. http://www.numbersusa.com/index

  • OverheadCam9000 OverheadCam9000 on Aug 16, 2007

    All are equal, but some more equal than others. - G. Orwell Animal Farm

  • Chickie19782002 Chickie19782002 on Sep 16, 2007

    Why should illegals get away with more the Americans? Why do the local police not give a crap? How should you report someone that is here illegally, works for someone, has gotten married to a young American girl (that does not know him all that well), and drive around putting everyone around him in danger? What is wrong with this picture?