As stated before, the Alabama Anti-immigrant law

“. . .does not give police the express ability to stop anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” may be here illegally. However, it does not disable law enforcement from making practically pretextual stops i.e. “the use of some minor offense, typically a traffic violation, as a tool for obtaining evidence or statements relating to a greater offense for which the police lack the required probable cause or reasonable suspicion otherwise to obtain.” Scarborough vs. State of Alabama, 621 So.2d 996.  . .

So, in all probability, if a rogue law enforcement officer wants to stop someone for D.W.M. (Driving While Mexican), they will be able to state some pretext to justify the stop, thereby, make the stop “lawful.”

However,  federal law actually provide more “valid reasons” to stop suspected illegals. The US Supreme Court stated in US v. Brignoni-Ponce (1075):

. . . officers on roving patrol may stop vehicles . . . if they are aware of specific articulable facts, together with rational inferences from those facts, that reasonably warrant suspicion that the vehicles contain aliens who may be illegally in the country.

So no crime is needed if they can state specific reasons that support their suspicion. The court went onto details some “valid” explanations.

Any number of factors may be taken into account in deciding whether there is reasonable suspicion to stop a car in the border area. Officers may consider:

(1) the characteristics of the area in which they encounter a vehicle. Its proximity to the border, the usual patterns of traffic on the particular road, and previous experience with alien traffic are all relevant.

(2) They also may consider information about recent illegal border crossings in the area.

(3) The driver’s behavior may be relevant, as erratic driving or obvious attempts to evade officers can support a reasonable suspicion.

(4) Aspects of the vehicle itself may justify suspicion. For instance, officers say that certain station wagons, with large compartments for fold-down seats or spare tires, are frequently used for transporting concealed aliens. The vehicle may appear to be heavily loaded, it may have an extraordinary number of passengers, or the officers may observe persons trying to hide.

(5) Trained officers can recognize the characteristic appearance of persons who live in Mexico, relying on such factors as the mode of dress and haircut.

Here are the new Rules of the Road for all “Mexican-looking” residents and citizens in Alabama:

(1) Do not drive a vehicle; inevitably, everybody violates some traffic offense.

(2) If you must drive,  drive only Mazda Miatas or other two passenger vehicles; otherwise, vehicles like station wagons, vans, or SUVs may raise suspicion that you are trafficking in illegal aliens.

(3) Drive by yourself; otherwise, your vehicle may appear to be heavily loaded.

(4) Do not allow passengers to recline or sleep in your car because they will look like they are hiding.

(4) And most important, do not dress like those in Mexico and particularly avoid the infamous “Mexican” haircut.

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