Immigrants Rights Groups Urge Changes in Car Impound Policies

Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2013

Immigrant rights groups are calling on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other police agencies to stop impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers.

A 2011 state law requires police at drunk-driving checkpoints to give unlicensed drivers the chance to call someone with a license to take the car before it is towed.

But that law does not apply to routine traffic stops, and activists complain that unlicensed drivers across the county are losing their cars after being pulled over for minor infractions, such as making a wrong turn or driving without a seat belt. In many cases, the cars are impounded for 30 days at a fee of more than $1,000.

Activists say impound policies unfairly target immigrants here illegally, who cannot obtain licenses in California. At a news conference Wednesday held by a group called the Free Our Cars Coalition, Mexican immigrant Alma Castaneda said she and her husband have had their cars impounded five times for unlicensed driving. Three times they have not had the cash to pay the impound fee, she said, and have been forced to give up their cars to the lot.

Castaneda and other members of the coalition are asking immigrants to share their stories about impounds on a website in hopes of pressuring police departments around the county to make changes.

That is how immigrant rights groups persuaded the Los Angeles Police Department to make major changes to its impound policy, said Zach Hoover, a Baptist minister who leads an alliance of religious and community groups called LA Voice.

The number of vehicles impounded by the LAPD fell 39% last year from the year before, after the department enacted rules prohibiting officers from seizing cars at routine traffic stops if a licensed driver was available to take the car, according to department officials. The rule that required cars to be kept in impound lots for 30 days was also changed; now drivers can retrieve their vehicles as soon as they pay the impound fee.

The new rules drew lawsuits from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers, and from a national group called Judicial Watch that said the policy is unfair to taxpayers. {snip}

{snip}

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  • Aint gonna happen. The broke state of California needs to get money from anywhere it can, even from illegal aliens.
    This is yet another incident I am holding the Republican Party responsible for. I’m tired of the GOP doing nothing about it, and too afraid to talk about race.
    I am voting straight ticket democrat (with the exception of a few hard core right wingers) if the Republican Party continues to listen to the likes of John McCain.

    Don’t vote for this guy just because he has an R by his name:

    • Jerrybear

      McCain might as well be a terrorist. He poses with terrorist kidnappers for pictures and works to arm ‘rebels’ affiliated with Al Qaeda with weapons to topple secular dictators. Benedict Arnold has nothing on McCain. The most evil elected official in the country in my opinion.

      • Sick of it

        Graham is worse.

        • Jerrybear

          Graham is McCain Jr. They agree on virtually everything. The only difference is Graham is a closet homosexual.

        • me

          Graham. Never vote for a ghey. Even the ghey drag queen Hoover said this….

      • mobilebay

        The others need to get in line behind Luis Gutierriez. He’s the #1 traitor. I agree the others are bad, but this man would sell out his grandmother if it meant that he could hand out citizenship to every last illegal alien here.

        • Jerrybear

          Gutierrez is selling out American citizens to help ‘his people’. His loyalty lies with the fake ethnicity known as Hispanic. That’s more understandable than where McCain and Graham are coming from. They have zero loyalty to anyone but themselves.

          • IstvanIN

            Shows how stupid Hispanics are. Come here for a better life and then destroy the country that has the better life and turn it into the hell hole you came from.

          • me

            You can take the Mestizo out of Mexico, but you can’t take Mexico out of the Mestizo. Or something like that. ‘Gringo’ traffic laws are raaaycis’, don’t ya know.

        • Jake Frizzell

          When I take power the Reagan ‘amnesty’ will be reopened and mass deportations will begin.

          • mobilebay

            Jake for President!

      • me

        McCain, the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ from his Viet Nam days. I wonder how much brainwashing effort it took for the commies to achieve this, working with McCain’s small brain.

        • Jake Frizzell

          The McCain family have been open khazar ‘supporters’ from before the U.S.S. LIBERTY attack by the khazars in 1967. I suspect they cheered Kennedys’ murder too.

    • SFLBIB

      “I am voting straight ticket democrat…”

      The GOP won’t do anything about it, so get even by voting for people who are actively working AGAINST your convictions. I guess you’ll show those Republicans.

  • Puggg

    Do they want this change to apply to illegal aliens only, or to illegals and citizens alike?

    There’s a reason that cops like to tow the cars of unlicensed drivers. It’s so easy to get a drivers license that anyone who doesn’t have one probably can’t do as much as walk and chew gum at the same time. Would you want someone like that anywhere near a steering wheel?

    • You’re a dog. Be careful glorifying the notion of being “im-pounded.”

      From what I hear, there are hardly ever any real car impoundments in SoCal anyway.

    • borogirl54

      From what I understand, the only illegals that can get licenses are DACA recipients.

      • Puggg

        And if you don’t think illegal aliens of all kinds aren’t getting drivers licenses, then I have a drivers license with no expiration date to sell you, along with a bridge.

        • me

          California highways are going to resemble giant bumper car rides soon….

  • borogirl54

    Too bad. So sad. to this couple I would say that you knew that you were unlicensed and that the law requires that all drivers be licensed and insured. You took the risk by driving without a license and you have to pay the price so sorry.

  • JohnEngelman

    Activists say impound policies unfairly target immigrants here illegally, who cannot obtain licenses in California.

    – Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2013

    One could also say that gun control laws unfairly target those on parole for armed robbery.

    • I’m much more in favor of vehicle impounds than gun control. Drunk drivers kill more people each year than angry shooters. The various bus systems in California are (were?) great! When I was an undergrad there, I could get a bus almost anywhere, almost 24/7. When I was in grad school in Sydney, I never had a car. I walked everywhere, or took the bus, or when my friend and I went fishing, we drove his boat down on the roof-rack of his rusted-out Volvo station wagon.

      What isn’t mentioned in the article is that these greaseros and greaseritas don’t merely drive drunk and without licenses; they also drive without any insurance.

  • Spartacus

    Enforcing the law is racist !

  • Evette Coutier

    To be fair, Hispanics don’t want their homes confiscated, especially after they just installed New wheels and tires.

    • me

      Well, maybe the twenty Mestizos squeezed into their old ‘Chevy’ should stop toking and drinking tequila before they get behind the wheel of their low riders….

      • me

        Cheech and Chong, man! Cheech and Chong!

  • sbuffalonative

    To Any Minority: If you can’t or won’t or has no intention of follow our rules, you shouldn’t be here. Please leave. Go back to your home country or find one with the rules you like.

    • Sick of it

      Time to start a ‘Dear Liberals’ letter…

  • Driving without a license in the USA is only a crime if you are White.

    • White Mom in WDC

      Exactly. They want all the whiteys licensed so they can track us down and make sure we pay up the fines of any ‘laws’ we break.

      • Wethepeople

        Definition of ‘laws and fines’ – punishment for being white, taken from them on top of taxes to pay reparations to minorities they have trod on for decades…

      • me

        Yup. And our car insurance is so high because of the Bantus and squat monsters ‘driving dirty’, yo.

    • GM (Australia)

      Yes, a very high profile Muslim cleric here was allowed off scott free when he was caught driving an unregistered car and without a licence. Then there was the Carnita Matthews affair, a Muslim women bashed up the highway patrol officer who dared to pull her over, she screamed discrimination from the rooftops because she was facing imprisonment for her actions.

      • me

        That’s why they wear burkas–like the Old West bandits used to wear a bandana on their face.

  • Sorry, but the car should not just be impounded, it should be confiscated.
    Visitors in the country should be driving rental cars.

    • George

      What about Canadians, RJP?

      • They have driver’s licenses. When they drive cars here with plates that say “Alberta” or whatnot, their driver’s licenses match.

      • By “visitors”, I meant people that don’t legally drive a car over a border (and have a home country driver’s license). Visitor’s could not get a rental car without a driver’s license, so they wouldn’t be driving illegally.

      • me

        Who’s picking on Canuks, eh? No Molson’s, back bacon, or donuts for you!

  • RHG

    Once again we get to see that once things start impacting illegals adversely in this country those things must be changed to benefit illegals.

    • Spartacus

      You know, maybe if you guys allow in a few million illegal bangladeshis to steal the jobs from the mexicans, then you’ll finally get secure borders !

  • White Mom in WDC

    Cry me a river. You play, you pay. If you do not want to play by the rules in the States, get the eff out!

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    “Activists say impound policies unfairly target immigrants here illegally, who cannot obtain licenses in California.”

    Good. There’s nothing ‘unfair’ about targeting illegal alien invaders when they’re breaking the law (multiple laws, actually, since their mere presence in the U.S. is already illegal).

    If you don’t want your car impounded when you get caught driving without a licence, go back to your home country, where you have legal citizenship, and get a driver’s licence there.

    • Jake Frizzell

      These ‘activists’ need to be rounded up and placed in FEMA camps.

  • George

    Carrying out the same activity repeatedly and expecting different results is a sign of insanity.
    To recap: She and her husband have had their car impounded five times. They’ve had to abandon the car on three of those occasions.
    To recap: She and her husband are breaking the law by their very presence in California. They have been stopped on at least five separate occasions for moving violations — a good sign that they are poor drivers with little regard for the law. They are unlicensed and almost certainly uninsured.
    To recap: She’s complaining that the situation is unfair.

    She’s right. But the unfair aspect is that the roads American citizenry pay for are filled with dangerous people such as she.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    “Immigrant rights groups are calling on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other police agencies to stop impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers.”

    Well, they have succeeded in getting the prezzy to NOT ENFORCE THE LAW regarding where they SHOULD be (not here), so…guess they should have no problem getting the locals to NOT ENFORCE THE LAW when it’s them in any manner, eh?

    “A 2011 state law requires police at drunk-driving checkpoints to give unlicensed drivers the chance to call someone with a license to take the car before it is towed.

    But that law does not apply to routine traffic stops, and activists complain that unlicensed drivers across the county are losing their cars after being pulled over for minor infractions, such as making a wrong turn or driving without a seat belt. In many cases, the cars are impounded for 30 days at a fee of more than $1,000.”

    What? The law says what?!?!? I see why lawyers and judges around here refer to California legal precedents used to support a case as being from the “land of fruits and nuts”. Sorry sane Californians – I’m sure you could tell me all about it and more.

    “Activists say impound policies unfairly target immigrants here illegally, who cannot obtain licenses in California.”

    Here ILLEGALLY. NO LEGAL, NO LICENSE, CUATEMOC! Where has sanity gone in this country?

    “That is how immigrant rights groups persuaded the Los Angeles Police Department to make major changes to its impound policy, said Zach Hoover, a Baptist minister who leads an alliance of religious and community groups called LA Voice.”
    Zach Hoover eh? Baptist minister eh? Can’t talk religion here eh? OK, nothing to say here…

    My major beef is with the blacks, but this is utterly infuriating. Operation wetback time long ago…

    • saxonsun

      Sickening that there’s always some nut who will speak for these monsters but no one speaks for the victims of accidents caused by them.

  • Greg Thomas

    Of course, the illegal invading mexicans never mention any fear of being turned over to immigration when pulled over by police. Goes to show you how far to the left the illegal invaders and their “activists” have pushed the laws of this country.

  • mobilebay

    It’s the supreme insult when people who have broken into our country illegally, presented fake documents, false names and/or stolen IDs, complain about having the car they’re probabably driving without a license getting impounded! Prime example of the entitlement mindset of these infiltators. I will vote for anyone for President whose platform is “Americans First,” and who gets rid of every illegal alien in this country.

    • me

      Obummer’s new book title: The Audacity of Hope; the Mestizo Audacity

  • This greasero and his brood-sow greasera have lost three cars that they couldn’t afford to retrieve from the impound lot? This isn’t a tragedy; it is hilarious! It’s the old Marx Brothers comedy bit in real life:

    Patient: “Doctor, doctor; it hurts when I do this.”
    Doctor: “Then don’t do that.”

    What the greaseritos are really saying with this latest snit of theirs is that they don’t like laws.

    • Greg Thomas

      That’s right Michael. And our traitors in government are more than happy to modify the law to accomodate illegal invading squat monsters.

    • me

      No laws, no accountability, and no self respect. Hey, isn’t that how they wrecked Mexico?

      • I thought us white Gringos wrecked Mexico when we paid for the land in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago, while leaving them with mucho silver and oil and an export market second-to-none.

        They’ve also had national defense on our nickel for over a century. The French had to leave after we were done with our unpleasantness, and Mexico has had no foreign armed threats since then.

  • Greg Thomas

    Why are they not deported after their first encounter with police is the better question.

    • me

      It’s all part of the Marxist blueprint to wreck the USA. Globalist serfdom, here we come!

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Why should I care whether an illegal thinks a policy is “fair” or not? They have no right to comment on our laws.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Uh, what would then be the point of requiring people to have a driver’s license then? I only read the first couple of lines!

    And this from someone who hates driving, and just renews their learner’s every five years for ID purposes!

  • kjh64

    I’m so tired of hearing the term “immigrant’s right’s groups”. Nobody has a “right” to immigrate to another country. Nobody has a “right” to stay in a country illegally. Illegal migrants should be targeted because they are breaking OUR laws. They should not only have their car impounded if unlicensed but be deported. If they don’t like this, stop breaking our laws and go home.

  • Jake Frizzell

    Beck is a khazar and Brown is a traitor – both deserve to be ‘eliminated’.