+ ++ Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst validates colonia community groups' claims that TX DPS checkpoints engaged in immigration enforcement | Latina Lista
Local Stories

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst validates colonia community groups’ claims that TX DPS checkpoints engaged in immigration enforcement

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst validates colonia community groups’ claims that TX DPS checkpoints engaged in immigration enforcement

By Steve Taylor
Rio Grande Guardian

RioGrande

EDINBURG,TX — When state Rep. Terry Canales called DPS to find out why the department was putting up random checkpoints in the poorest parts of the Rio Grande Valley he could not believe what he was told.

“It was such a telling remark. The staff member said DPS was putting up the checkpoints because the federal government was not doing its job. When I pressed her on this point she backtracked,” Canales told the Guardian.

All the public statements from DPS about the checkpoints have focused on the high percentage of Valley residents driving without a driver’s license and lacking auto insurance. DPS Director Steve McCraw has strongly denied state troopers are enforcing federal immigration laws.

Many immigrants do not believe DPS and dozens have contacted Valley media outlets to tell of friends and loved ones who have been deported after being picked up at the checkpoints.

Thousands of immigrants have not ventured out of their homes since the checkpoints were erected. Businesses have lost workers and schools have lost students.

“We cannot leave home. I can’t work, my wife cannot go to evening classes and our children cannot go to school,” said one immigrant from Edinburg, who asked that his name not be given out. “We cannot risk being picked up and being deported.”

On Wednesday, however, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst effectively claimed DPS was engaged in immigration enforcement and repeated what the DPS staff member told Canales.

“The federal government has proven incapable of fighting the increased drug and human trafficking plaguing this region,” Dewhurst said in his statement. “I'm proud to say that Texas law enforcement is showing Washington how to secure the border by coordinating the efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement entities.”

Groups in the RGV Equal Voice Network were quick to pounce on Dewhurst’s remarks, claiming the lieutenant governor was confirming what they have been saying all along, that DPS was picking up drivers and handing them over to Border Patrol.

Equal Voice network weaver Michael Seifert said members in the network were not surprised by Dewhurst's boast that state troopers went to the Valley to enforce the federal immigration law.

“We have asserted all along that the troopers were sent here to harass immigrant communities, even as the state director insisted that DPS brought in extra troops to enforce traffic laws. As is usual…

Featured Photo: Colonia community groups in the RGV Equal Voice Network protested outside DPS's headquarters in Edinburg on Monday. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

Finish reading Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst validates colonia community groups' claims of TX DPS checkpoints engaged in immigration enforcement (Original title: Colonia groups: Dewhurst proves our point about real purpose of DPS checkpoints)

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Local Stories

2_460_34a4a53b-561f-4b6a-a956-8ae7fda84a4b

SF Mission Organizers Debut Film on Alex Nieto Case

Latina ListaJanuary 5, 2016
2_453_832f7f3a-cc83-4873-abba-2825da162c90

In one West Valley community, ever-shifting demographics are changing the face of Phoenix

Latina ListaDecember 21, 2015
2_447_a4c84946-4d35-45e6-970f-2d6efb869afe

Rio Grande Valley teachers urged not to turn away students who want to join robotics teams

Latina ListaDecember 17, 2015
2_443_7727a68e-6830-450b-a2a5-0ba1ade69039

U.S. speech and debate teams dig deep for material to overcome literary void of Latino voices

Latina ListaDecember 16, 2015
2_438_1ddd421b-615c-497f-88c6-d9dd33a6cfa5

In All Cases, Oklahoma Police Find No Proof of Racial Profiling

Latina ListaDecember 15, 2015
2_433_d2b59a30-e7e7-49b8-86bc-416abab83622

Bridging a border to unite my transnational family

Latina ListaDecember 10, 2015
2_428_be76ed14-acf4-46ac-9ba8-60de992edd5c

San Diego’s Balboa Park Hosts 32 International Cottages, but Mexico is not one of them

Latina ListaDecember 9, 2015
2_424_933816bc-0b44-4f62-8503-74fc00592dca

One of Chicago’s most prolific artists, Marcos Raya, highlighted at city museum

Latina ListaDecember 8, 2015
2_418_d6650135-5378-41d7-bbc4-f01770b591a2

Young refugees who arrive at the border alone struggle in U.S.

Latina ListaDecember 7, 2015