The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Drivers Ticketed for Not Speaking English; Chief Apologizes

By Hatewatch Staff on October 27, 2009 - 9:32 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Dallas police wrongly ticketed at least 39 drivers for not speaking English over the last three years.
Read full article

  • beholder

    Snorlax is absolutely right as usual.

    Have we considered how the 287 (g) program demoralizes law enforcement officers too?

    Normally, LEOs are very involved in their local communities and are probably under a lot of pressure from citizens to join in the witch hunt. Finding themselves suddenly deputized as federal law enforcers, but lacking an understanding of complex immigration laws, they are asked to go out and get sued.

    I don’t think it’s fair to the cops either.

  • jeffrey

    Please look into your crystal ball a little deeper when you make judgements about those that you don’t know. Both are my statements are true.

    I studied German in both high school and college before traveling there. I made the effort to learn the ‘native’ langauge. I didn’t say they don’t know English, you made that assumption.

    I was a member of management at the one of the nations largest beef processing plants in the US for 10+ years. I know what I’m talking about.

    Please return to your perfect world and don’t return to reality until you’re willing to open your eyes and actually seen what’s happening around us.

  • Snorlax

    This is another example of how the anti-immigration whackos are endangering us all.

    Cops are detaining crime victims and witnesses for being illegal residents.

    And not just in Latino areas either. Cops have trouble getting help in other neighborhoods too and I suspect it is the same reason.

    What’s more important, arresting murder witnesses or actually arresting the murderers themselves?

    The cops are not protecting us from the real crooks anymore.

    Instead, they’re re-victimizing people.

  • Snorlax

    “When I visited Germany, I spoke their language. I didn’t expect them to learn mine.”

    jeffrey obviously never went to Germany. He’s lying or an idiot.

    Anybody who actually HAS been to Europe knows they all speak English because it’s mandatory in all their schools. English is the official worldwide language for business, aviation and computers among other things.

    You can travel throughout Europe without having to learn French, Dutch, German, Polish, Italian, Swedish et al.

    “The Latinos that work in our packing plants always get a pass from management because they give them that “No speak inglis.’ But you make an error on their paycheck, and they point it out to you in perfect English.”

    This is another lie. Unless jeffrey actually can name names and give dates of specific instances where this allegedly occurred, I seriouly doubt the veracity of this urban myth.

    It sounds like the kind of bogus story Lou Dobbs would tell.

  • beholder

    Marisa is absolutely correct about Texas. There is huge public pressure from the right wing to begin harassing and detaining people suspected of not having a valid visa.

    Unfortunately, the method of determining who has a visa or not typically involves racial profiling, which affects both citizens and immigrants alike. One one hand, citizens who look “different” than the norm or do not speak English are targeted, and on the other undocumented immigrants who fit the norm are not.

    Houston, which has a moderate Democrat mayor, has resisted 287 (g) for a number of valid reasons, despite pressure from the large nativist constituency to start a witch hunt. Their battle cry is that Houston is a “sanctuary city” for declining participation in this program, which as the Mayor pointed out is a complete misnomer.

    With one exception, there are no major cities in the country that currently have adopted and implemented 287 (g), and it would be absurd to claim that they are all sanctuaries for undocumented.

    The Mayor favors an alternative “safe community” jailhouse screening where law enforcement, once having brought in a person for committing a crime, would have access to an ICE database to verify immigration status. This is very sensible because it addresses the issue without turning LEOs into immigration officials.

    One city council member attempted to force a vote on the issue when the Mayor rejected 287 (g), but with only two supporters in the Council was unable to obtain a quorum. This just goes to show how immigration is the easiest issue to exploit for political gain in a constituency where nativism is common, but it also shows that elected officials are aware how much of a backlash they would face from Houston’s diverse communities.

    Unfortunately, the reverse is true for Harris County, where Houston is located. The County has voted to adhere to 287 (g), meaning that now this huge population area will likely become subject to the same kinds of persecution going on in Arizona under Sheriff Arpaio.

    I do not believe enough attention is being paid to this issue at a national level. Locally, I have every reason to suspect that Harris Country will be just as bad as Sherrif Joe’s county in Arizona.

    We who feel strongly about this issue need to continue grass roots mobilization and coordination among all defenders of civil liberties. Otherwise, we risk losing counties to this program, especially because County Sheriffs are elected and more likely to become law enforcement activists than their City Police Chief counterparts, who are appointed.

  • Yuri

    I was treated the same by the Detroit Border Custom officer whose name is Shirley Boy. Her face is full of hatred to me and she screamed to my face, not talking. She ridiculed my English accent by yelling:” What????? speaking English!!!!!!!!!!!” She prohibited me to talk when I told my son if you need to go to the bathroom, just ask them (he didn’t go to the bathroom during the flight). When I told her I need a lawyer, she yelled angrily to my face that “YOU ARE NOT ARRESTED,YOU DON’T NEED LAWYER.” Then, she tore the document and through into the trashbox with her enemy look to me, screaming that ” NO FIXING!!!” when I found I wrote “thought” lacking t at the end. I am American Asian, so i have been treated by my Asian feature.

  • jeffrey

    I work in a large, population of 500,000+, Midwestern city. Our school district has 34 different languages and dialects in it. Which 2 do you suggest I learn?

    When I visited Germany, I spoke their language. I didn’t expect them to learn mine.

    The Latinos that work in our packing plants always get a pass from management because they give them that “No speak inglis.’ But you make an error on their paycheck, and they point it out to you in perfect English.

  • kate

    In nearly every part of the world, people know and speak at least two languages. Usually a “national” language, a tribal language or in order to navigate from one small country or across to another.

    Considering how large we are and how dependent we are on global trade and finance, I am astounded at the number of ignorant and backward thinking people we still have in this country.

    That people that serve the public in areas that have a high influx of spanish speakers, do not know spanish is beyond reproach and the height of stupidity.

    Hopefully a judge will give this department a major fine for being A Moron Disguising as a Public Servant.

  • Marisa

    Typical Texas – just typical. The state has always had lots of Mexican immigrants but has never treated them like anything but trash UNLESS it was getting close to election time. The only politician who ever treated those people decently was Lyndon Johnson. He had been a teacher and knew how difficult their lives could be without the ability to speak English.

  • jeffrey

    Quote from the Dallas Morning News/ Oct 26, 2009:
    “In a study released by the Southern Poverty Law Center this year, 72 percent of Latinos living in Nashville indicated that they would not contact the police if they were the victim of a crime because they fear police contact could lead to their own or a family member’s deportation.”

    I read that to mean that 72% of the ‘Latinos’ living in Dallas are illegals. Would that be considered Profiling if that many were illegal?