Thursday, July 20, 2017

Driving While Black, Driving While Brown, Driving While Undocumented?


In the era of Trump, immigrants who come into contact with the criminal justice system are at risk of removal.  And how is one most likely to come into contact with the police?  For many, it is when driving a motor vehicle.  

In the Obama years, many of the arrests that resulted in immigrants being placed in removal proceedings involved driving infractions.  The same is the case under President Trump, with an even more aggressive immigration enforcement agenda.  Liz Robbins of the New York Times outlines the risks of driving while undocumented:

"Under a Trump administration that has taken an aggressive stance on illegal immigration, the moving car has become an easy target. A broken headlight, a seatbelt not worn, a child not in a car seat may be minor traffic violations, but for unauthorized immigrants, they can have life-altering consequences.

Routine traffic stops have always carried the threat of deportation, but during the last years of the Obama administration, when serious crimes were prioritized, the stops that simply revealed unlawful status often resulted in deferment. No longer."


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