POSTED: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 6:17pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 10:59am
TYLER—License checkpoints may soon be back around the state. The Public Safety Commission is asking the Attorney General to decide if these checkpoints are legal.
Since 1994, traffic checkpoints have been considered unauthorized.
That's when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said they need to get the permission of a "politically accountable governing body at the state level."
Now the Texas Public Safety Commission wants Attorney General Greg Abbott to clarify whether or not checkpoints are legal.
According to the Associated Press, the proposed checkpoints would stop drivers who'd be asked to hand over their drivers licenses, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance to make sure the driver is not an illegal immigrant.
Two weeks before the Commission asked to make these checkpoints legal, they issued new rules requiring applicants to prove they were legal citizens before getting a drivers license.
This has some lawmakers thinking the commission is overstepping its boundaries.
So fifteen lawmakers sent Attorney General Abbott a request to ignore the commission's request for clarification on the checkpoints.
Their argument goes back to that 1994 decision by the Court of Appeals saying legalizing checkpoints is "unauthorized immigration policymaking."
But some East Texans say the checkpoints should be considered legal because if you have nothing to hide, it's not a big deal.
"I think people should be here legally and that's one good way to check and find out," Jim Hubbard says.
"We need to get rid of all the illegal citizens that are not supposed to be here," Mike Mitchell says.
But first the measures to do so must be deemed legal.
According to Governor Perry's spokeswoman, he is in favor of random checkpoints.
But the Attorney General's decision on the issue could be the ultimate deciding factor.