The administrator for a Spanish-language Facebook page used by almost 30,000 to alert members to police and border patrol checkpoints, posted a video complaining they were busted by Breitbart. The administrator responded by creating a new alert page to help unlicensed drivers stay on the road.
Posts on the original group page claimed they were only alerting those “who don’t have a driver license and [to] report accidents.” Law enforcement officials and immigration experts say the Facebook group page could be used to avoid law enforcement for any criminal activity, including human, drug, and sex trafficking.
Breitbart Texas reported on July 6 that the Spanish-speaking Facebook group titled “Reten De Law Policia (Checkpoint) California was being used to alert 29,753 members of law enforcement checkpoints. The administrator was forced to start a new page.
“Reten De Law Policia (Checkpoint) California” targets checkpoints in California but members of the Facebook group discuss traveling across state lines, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The Facebook page is currently accessible to anyone in the public with a Facebook account. Posts on the page contain photos and warnings about law enforcement locations and checkpoints, and Facebook users ask if a particular area is “all clean.”
As reported on July 6, updates on the page receive a great deal of interaction and responses by group members. One post in El Monte, California on July 2nd received over 145 reactions and over 50 shares as of the date of publication of the Breitbart Texas article. The Facebook post asks about checkpoints in Ramona, California, a small city in San Diego County, a county that shares a border with Mexico.
The administrator of the Spanish-speaking group page, Anghel Cain, made a video in response to the Breitbart Texas article. The video is posted under the heading “Qué’Pasa En Orange’County was live” (translated “What’s Up in Orange County was live”) and was uploaded on July 15th. According to his personal Facebook page, Cain is a “Presentador at Ritmo Sin Fronteras and LATV and he lives in Santa Ana, California. It also says he is from Mexico City.
Anghel Cain says on the video:
”For some reason, bad luck, I do not know, a journalist from Texas found our group and did a story on us – that we report checkpoints. This periodical for which this ‘journalist’ works, well, it is unfortunately an ultraconservative newspaper. And unfortunately made us look bad in the group, saying that they don’t take down illegals … we help illegals to evade the police … that we contribute to organized crime … So apparently the followers of that newspaper did their homework and reported to the group and unfortunately Facebook blocked my account that I used to manage the group. And now our group has no administrator.”
Cain explains that after the publication of the Breitbart Texas article about their checkpoint Facebook page, ”When this happened I received a lot of support from you … so I decided to start another group.” He adds that it is difficult to get a driver’s license and that is why he administers the police checkpoint page.
”For people who have reported me and are watching the video, then, the group was not created with the desire to harm anyone. Unfortunately, our Latino community has difficulties getting a license and the only thing we want is to avoid the checkpoints. In no way do we approve that people drive inebriated,” he says.
“Also I do not want to get into this issue too much because it is very delicate and very complex … but if we can avoid a checkpoint we have to avoid it, because unfortunately police are—I don’t know how to say this without putting my foot in my mouth and causing controversy—but we have seen many cases of police abuse. And unfortunately the ones that come out losing are us Latinos and African Americans. So that’s the purpose of avoiding a checkpoint, avoid problems. And I think that is what is best. Avoiding checkpoints is best.”
“The group is not made to hurt anyone. The group is made to support the Latino community. Perhaps many do not understand because they have never been in the situation we are in,” he says.
His new “Retén a la vista” (translated “Checkpoint in sight”) public group page started on July 15th and it is up to 384 members.
Jon Feere, the Legal Policy Analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) told Breitbart Texas, “The administrator mentioned that he does not approve of people driving drunk. That’s great to hear. But it seems he still approves of people driving without a license. That’s the problem.”
Don Rosenberg’s 25-year-old son Drew was killed by an unlicensed illegal alien driver. He has a website, www.unlicensedtokill.org explaining the horrific things his family went through after his son was killed.
The grieving father told Breitbart Texas, “Regardless of your immigration status, checkpoints are effective at getting the worst drivers off the road. I’d like to hear what someone who helps drivers avoid these checkpoints say if their action led to the death of their loved one.”
Rosenberg added, “It is legal to warn someone who is speeding to slow down. It is a legal requirement for the government to post where these traffic stops will be. However, notifying those who are in the country illegally and driving without a license for the purpose of avoiding the law is a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(iii).” He cites this federal provision saying any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of the law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, commits a criminal offense.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published a booklet titled “Unlicensed to Kill.” Rosenberg cites it saying “unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision, five times more likely to drive drunk, and ten times more likely to flee.”
Rosenberg said that warning these drivers so they can allude detection is “terrible public policy and puts law abiding people at risk.”