A Latino truck driver outside Phoenix was taken into custody by law enforcement at a weigh station. He pulled in to have the truck looked at, was apparently approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and asked for ID. He showed them his commercial driver’s license. They asked him for more ID. He told them his social security number. They cuffed him took him to the central office in Phoenix and called his wife to bring his social security card and birth certificate. The truckdiver is identifying himself to media only as “Abdon” and he is an American citizen born in the USA.
The ICE agents said this was all just standard procedure. But the agents might just as well have been local police or highway patrol, who are now required by the controversial law Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday to follow the same “standard procedure” and question individuals about their immigration status during routine stops. Welcome to the new Arizona, where there are sure to be whole websites dedicated to these kind of stories soon.
The original report from an Arizona KTVK TV news / website:
Abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. He provided his commercial driver’s license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.
An agent called his wife and she had to leave work to drive home and grab other documents like his birth certificate.
Jackie explains, “I have his social security card as well and mine. He’s legit. It’s the first time it’s ever happened.”
Both were born in the United States and say they are now both infuriated that keeping important documents safely at home is no longer an option.
Jackie says, “It doesn’t feel like it’s a good way of life, to live with fear, even though we are okay, we are legal…still have to carry documents around.”
A representative at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 3TV’s calls after researching the incident and she said this was standard operating procedure.
Arizona now has the toughest immigration-related laws in the country, making it a state crime to be in the country without the proper visa. The new law has raised howls from civil rights groups for putting the onus on local police to enforce laws tougher than federal immigration statutes. Immigration and rights activists argue the law is a misguided reaction to admittedly major security and trafficking problems on the border. They say the new state law is an unconstitutional and anti-American recipe for racial profiling abuses that will create divisions and heighten the reluctance of Latino community members to seek police assistance even for everyday matters of security and law enforcement.