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DUI checkpoint prompts fears of immigration arrests

The law does allow border patrol agents to conduct random stops and searches within 100 miles of a border, even if it is water.

A DUI checkpoint in Cleveland recently caused alarm.

On Tuesday night, Facebook and twitter blew up over posts, pictures, and videos from West 150th Street and Lorain Avenue, where people accused ICE of trying to catch undocumented immigrants.

Police confirmed that was not the case. But could the tactic ever be legal?

“They’re not supposed to stop anybody without reasonable suspicion that there’s an immigration violation,” immigration attorney David Leopold said. “They may do it, doesn’t mean it’s legal.”

As the American Civil Liberties Union points out, location matters, because the law does allow border patrol agents to conduct random stops and searches within 100 miles of a border, even if it is water.

It is how federal agents recently questioned interstate drivers in Maine and boarded a greyhound bus in Florida.

Yet we found no case where ICE ever hid behind a DUI checkpoint to catch undocumented immigrants.

Still, DUI checkpoints could lead to the arrests of illegal immigrants.

If a person is unable produce a license, they could be jailed and fingerprinted, which could ultimately lead to their deportation.