Seen & Heard on the Web: Man refuses to “show his papers” at check points
No, these check points are not even in Arizona. He’s on westbound I-8 in Southern California (an East-West highway that never intersects the international border).
Although police legally need probable cause to make a traffic stop, “roadblocks,” as they are referred to by the courts, fall under what is known as a “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment. The special needs exception requires that the primary purpose of the search/seizure be for regulatory, not law enforcement, purposes. Under this theory, things like drivers license/vehicle registration checkpoints pass muster because the purpose is to ensure motorists have complied with state licensing requirements.
But these stops are not about licenses, the cops never even ask for that. They only ask if the driver is an American. Basically, it’s a “give me your papers!” situation. What does that remind you of? If you said “Nazi Germany,” you get ten points.
If every American did what this brave fellow does in the video, they’d either have to stop this nonsense, or create huge traffic jams and a lot of extra work for themselves. State officials might just have to rethink the strategy.
Here’s a related video. Members of the Southern California Immigration Coalition (SCIC) protest at a check point. They want to highlight the continued confiscation of undocumented people’s cars. SCIC says the police continue to use minor violations as a pretext to pull over undocumented drivers and take away their vehicles, and that police have repeatedly targeted immigrant communities to establish patrols in areas that are designed not to deter traffic violations but provide a pretext for stopping suspected unlicensed drivers, including in front of schools as parents drop off their children. They say these stops are tantamount to racial profiling as they repeatedly target immigrants who in many instances have committed no crime: