U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) brands it a cog in President Donald Trump’s “deportation machine.” ACLU lawyers call it profiling. Undaunted, the Texas Department of Public Safety is providing names of suspected illegal aliens to federal immigration agents.
We call that public service.
The DPS “citation lists” came to light in the case of Gaspar Rodriguez Garcia, a Mexican national who has repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally.
Detained in a traffic stop by a Texas Highway Patrol officer, Rodriguez could not produce a driver’s license and, instead, presented a Mexican consular ID. The motorist was cited for driving without a license and failing to stop at a stop sign.
Rodriguez’s name was then put on a DPS citation list, which was forwarded to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Two and a half months later, ICE agents used the information to track down and arrest Rodriguez at his San Antonio apartment.
With his immigration case pending, Rodriguez’s experience is replicated across Texas as state law-enforcement officers provide crucial leads to ICE agents.
“There is a standing request from ICE to provide them a statewide listing of DPS enforcement of DWI and no-driver-license offenses,” DPS spokesman Tom Vingar told the San Antonio Express-News.
The citation lists have been furnished by DPS since August 2016, providing thousands of leads to ICE. The number of immigration arrests attributable to the lists has not been disclosed.
Naturally, Castro and the ACLU are outraged.
The Texas Democrat disingenuously blasted the program as part of a nefarious “deportation machine that Donald Trump set up to deport people like young Dreamers who may get a traffic ticket.” The ACLU, predictably, raises the specter of racial profiling.
In fact, DPS puts names on the citation list without regard to race, ethnicity or sex. “The information does not include, nor do we have, immigration status on the violators,” Vingar said.
The DPS actions are consistent with Texas’s anti-sanctuary law (Senate Bill 4) that requires local law-enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration matters.
So as officials from San Antonio and other large Texas cities continue to contest SB4 in court and Rodriguez’s public defender maneuvers to suppress evidence in his case (all at taxpayer expense), let’s cue up the sad old refrain: “I Fought the Law, and the Law Won.”
Bob Dane is the executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.