The latest example was reported in the Associated Press article “Mexican Consulate Says Police Profiled Illegal Immigrants (sic)”(Associated Press January 30th, 2007 ).
Here’s what the article reported:
" The immigrants were picked up in Fort Worth, Weatherford, Marshall and Denton County…they were stopped for traffic violations, asked for immigration papers and handed over to federal officials for deportation.”
Sounds great to me. That’s the way things ought to work. But, surprise, surprise, Mexican diplomats were not pleased. According to Eduardo Rea, spokesman for the Dallas consulate, the detained Mexicans were – horrors – profiled !
And the meddling diplomat had the chutzpah to make a pronouncement on U.S. immigration law: “Rea said it's illegal for local law enforcement officials to ask for people's immigration papers.”
Rea explained that
"The only ones who can determine immigration status are immigration officials.”
Nevertheless, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety defended the detention of 13 of the detainees :
“Jean Dark, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety in Tyler, said 13 immigrants (sic) were detained when state troopers pulled over two cars outside Marshall for minor traffic infractions. State troopers referred the group to immigration officials, she said. Dark said a state trooper can use information obtained during a traffic stop as probable cause to call immigration officials to the scene.”
Bravo for the Texas Department of Public Safety, you might express your appreciation at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (512)424-2000.
And by the way, as I’ve reported before, here in Mexico, local police are not only allowed, but required to enforce Mexican immigration law. Read about it here.