The activist group Latinos United for Change is rejecting the significance of data showing only a small percentage of undocumented immigrants arrested in McLean County were jailed solely because they were driving while immigrant. WGLT examined inmate data indicating most of those arrested in the last eleven months had DUIs, felony charges, gang affiliation, or multiple aliases as well as no driver's license or insurance. Alex Monzon of the immigrant rights group says even the 19 people who had no serious charges but were held for immigration authorities is too many.
"You know, if these were 19 soccer moms, this would not be a small deal, you know? Or 19 State Farm employees...if they were 19 white citizens, this would be a very big deal."
Monzon says holding anyone past the time they would normally be freed on bail is a violation of due process, even though they are not citizens. Latinos United for Change says it wants Sheriff Mike Emery to stop honoring federal detention requests, something Emery rejects. L-U-C is also arguing for legislation offering undocumented immigrants a way to get a drivers' license and insurance.
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