Deportation fears seen at New Haven DUI checkpoint


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – New Haven Police Officers conduct DUI Checkpoints on a regular basis to keep drunk drivers off the roads, but officers saw something new Friday night. They weren’t alone standing in the cold. On the corner of State and Elm, several people with posters written in Spanish stood on the corner warning drivers of the checkpoint ahead.

Jesus Morales tells News 8 he was braving the cold as a concerned community member who felt it was important to let drivers know what they could be facing ahead.

“People right now if they get into trouble, even a minor traffic violation, they could face more serious consequences like deportation,” said Morales.

The group of friends say it’s not the cold, but the Trump climate they fear when it comes to the immigrant community. Ben, who only wanted to go by his first name told News 8, “Trump is attacking them. I think all communities in general have fear for what the administration high up and closer, for how they will be attacking communities.”

New Haven Police tell News 8 their big flashing neon sign letting people know about the DUI check point ahead is much bigger than the posters of the folks on the corner. Plus, all DUI checkpoints are public information.

“We’re not trying to hide being out there. If they want to be out here freezing with us, they are more than welcome to be here,” said Sgt. Mark O’Neil.

It’s the unknown that has the concerned citizens out on the street with their signs. They question what an arrest would mean for an unlicensed immigrant or even a minor traffic violation.

Sgt. O’Neil reassures the community that there presence is not a boarder patrol check point. They are looking for drunk drivers.

“We’re a sanctuary city we have nothing coming down from the top on that,” said Sgt. O’Neil.

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