JUNE 03, 2008
A civil rights organization founded by a renowned Mexican labor activist is pressuring local police departments in Texas cites that border Mexico to avoid immigration enforcement after illegal aliens complained that officers were targeting them.
Representatives from the politically connected La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), founded by farm union organizer Cesar Chavez, have descended upon local police stations throughout western Hidalgo County, an area infested with huge amounts of human trafficking and illegal immigrants. They want police to stop asking suspects about their immigration status.
Group leaders claim that many illegal aliens have complained that police asked for immigration documents during traffic violation stops. At least two local police departments within the county say they don’t routinely ask for immigration papers, but do contact federal authorities when officers encounter human trafficking and drug smuggling rings.
This happens frequently, according to officials in the La Jolla and Palmview Police departments. A Palmview sergeant points out that his department patrols a Mexican border town and the area gets a lot of “dope and illegal smuggling” because it’s a major corridor to all kinds.
The same goes for the La Jolla Police Department, which says it only checks for immigration status of suspected smugglers known as coyotes. Otherwise, according to an officer speaking on behalf of the department, no action is taken even if the suspect has no license or identification. The officer says the philosophy is that “If they got a house and they got a job and they are working why mess with it?”
This can only lead to the conclusion that the influential Mexican civil rights group wants local law enforcement agencies to look the other way when it comes to all illegal immigrants, even those committing serious crimes like drug and human smuggling. Otherwise they will continue their tired public cry of discrimination and racial profiling against Hispanics.
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