Escondido under fire, ACLU accuses city of shady traffic tactics

Just south of Los Angeles, California is the city of Escondido, where roughly 70,000 of its 145,000 residents are either Latino or Hispanic. In recent years, Escondido has generated a hostile atmosphere towards illegal immigrants. The city passed a law in 2006 that banned renters from allowing illegal immigrants to live in their space.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Escondido has also been proliferating traffic stops under the guise of DUI checkpoints to target illegal immigrants. The tactic is apparently being used by law enforcement to skirt new legislation that restricts their ability to impound vehicles from police checkpoints if the offending driver does not have a license.

The ACLU is accusing Escondido law enforcement of unjustly earning millions of dollars from the thousands of impounds made before the law came into effect – but most importantly, it seems this tactic specifically targets illegal immigrants.

Escondido police instead label their roadblocks as drunk driving checkpoints. In a seemingly dubious setup, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are located near these apparent drunk driving checkpoints. If someone is found without a license at the checkpoint, ICE officers step in.

ACLU’s executive director in San Diego had strong words for the way Escondido authorities were conducting themselves. “Escondido appears to be justifying discriminatory policies that negatively affect the immigrant population,” he said. The executive director added that Escondido “should be advancing programs and policies that promote safety and unity, not fear and intimidation.”

Should the claims be proven, Escondido would be guilty of trying to cut corners with the law, and it would be a shocking case of discrimination against illegal immigrants.

Source: Fox News Latino, “California City Accused of “Profiting” from Undocumented Immigrants,” Mar. 14, 2012