Traffic Stops Become Immigration Stops in Delaware Valley

"[T]raffic operations designed to catch unlicensed drivers are provoking allegations of racial profiling across the Delaware Valley.  The concerns stem from ICE officers working hand-in-hand with local police, which immigrant rights advocates say is an end-run around state and federal law specifically prohibiting police from enforcing immigration laws.  According to citation records obtained by a public records request, 60 percent of the nearly 100 drivers ticketed by the Norristown Police Department during two checkpoints conducted jointly with ICE last summer had Hispanic surnames.  These figures are particularly striking given that Hispanic residents make up only 30 percent of Norristown's population, according to the 2010 Census. ... ICE's regional office confirms they have participated in ten traffic checkpoints in 2012 within its area of responsibility.  That region covers Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. ... Back in Norristown, a new interim police chief refused to admit any past wrongdoing, but says that ICE won't be back when his officers do checkpoints this summer.  He heard Latino residents' complaints, he said, and he doesn't need any more headaches." - Emma Jacobs, May 17, 2013.