Checkpoint protests continue while leaders lend support
POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013 - 3:54pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 8:18am
EDINBURG, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Protesters are out for another demonstration against Department of Public Safety checkpoints. There's been no shortage of outcry over the tactic since DPS renewed its focus a few weeks ago.
"We're here because there are checkpoints that are literally terrorizing the community, many people are not coming out, they're scared of the checkpoints," said Hector Guzman Lopez of the South Texas Civil Rights Project.
The DPS says it is only making sure folks have driver's licenses, insurance and registration. But the large Hispanic population in the Rio Grande Valley continue to fear immigration checks despite pleas from the DPS that status will not be questioned.
"They should have some criteria as to why they're in a particular place, whether it's a particular highway or wherever it is in south texas," said Rep. Henry Cuellar, responding to criticism that DPS sets up checkpoints in poorer areas. "But if they're focusing on colonias, then there is a problem."
Monday's protest is different from the ones held the previous week. People want to end checkpoints, but they also want driver's licenses to be made available to undocumented immigrants. Policies like that are in place in other states, such as California.
Lopez says a more liberal driver's license policy would end the need for checkpoints. But leaders have showed they support for the law enforcement tactic. Sheriff Lupe Trevino has joined Cuellar in throwing his support behind the checkpoints.
On websites, there are law-abiding citizens who want to see more of them. And then there are law-abiding citizens who question why anybody would welcome a stop or delay.