My friend Tanya, a Mexicana-American who came to this country at age four from southern Mexico, was talking to me today about an even that happened to her not to long ago. She was in San Jose and was being driven by one of her friends (he was Latino and a U.S. citizen). They were on a main strip of road in San Jose in a predominantly Latino neighborhood when they were stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. The checkpoint is set up in the same area during the same time every week. When the cops stopped their car they kept demanding to see her friend's (the driver) ID. They didn't seem to worried about finding out if he was drunk or not, they just wanted to see his ID. She said that they looked at his ID and made sure to check if it was fake our not. After the cops were satisfied they let them both go on through, yet they never checked (or seemed to care) if any of them were drunk. As they were passing by they looked out the window and saw a parking lot full of cars. That parking lot was mainly filled with the cars of Latino workers who did not have the licenses or any form of ID.
Tanya told me that her friend was extremely upset and told you. "You know why they do this right? They do this because they're checking to see if we're all 'illegals' or not. Not because they care about whether we've been drinking."
Tanya also made a good point when she told me. "You know. All those cars. Those vehicles are their only mode of transportation for getting to and from work. How are they going to be able to get to work?!"