Texas border crackdown increases traffic citations in high-density Latino counties

DPS soldiers recently arrested him on July 7 as he drove his neighbor, who suffers from dementia, around town in the van. He recorded the meeting.

The soldier, who was with a trainee, told Lozano that his license plate number was taped to a model Lincoln car, video shows. Lozano told the soldier he could check his truck’s plate with his registration, which he gave to the soldier. But the officer never opened it.

Later in the hour-long stop, it became clear that the soldier had replaced a G with a 6 while checking Lozano’s plate number.

“People make mistakes,” the soldier says in Lozano’s video. Lozano maintained that the soldier did it intentionally to stop him and could have cleared things up earlier by reading his recording.

Moises Lozano installed several surveillance devices including dash cams, busy cameras and a GoPro in his vehicle in Brackettville, Texas on August 10, 2022.
Moises Lozano installed several surveillance devices including dash cams, busy cameras and a GoPro in his vehicle in Brackettville, Texas on August 10, 2022.Kaylee Greenlee Beal for NBC News

“Things have changed somehow [so that] you can’t go out and have fun,” Lozano told NBC News. “It’s like a communist country. You get pulled over and it’s, ‘What are you doing here? Where are you going?

A Brackettville retiree who didn’t want her name used because she didn’t feel safe sharing her views said DPS arrested her and her husband eight times, making her anxious when she saw DPS vehicles and extremely careful driving.

“I am very aware that because my husband and I are white and in our 60s, we do not fit the profile of people who might be involved in smuggling. I feel like what we’re going through is probably worse for other residents here,” she said.

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However, 52-year-old Juan Enrique Hernández of Del Rio said he had no problems with the DPS. He was arrested for a problem with his light and received a warning. He said he preferred the DPS over the military in the area.

Fernando, who only wanted to be identified by his first name because “it’s a very, very small town”, said he was pulled over a few weeks ago for a stop light that didn’t work. They got him out of his truck and into a DPS vehicle. The soldier wrote him a $180 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. Fernando said he unbuckled after being arrested.

Several of the residential roads are unpaved around Bracketville, Texas on August 10, 2022.
Many of the residential roads are unpaved around Bracketville.Kaylee Greenlee Beal for NBC News

He said he saw the “damage” migrants were doing to the ranches where he worked, so he supports the mission to control illegal immigration, he said. But he also said Hispanics appeared to be targeted in vehicle stops.

At a Texas Senate committee audience on August 10, near Eagle Pass, about 46 miles south of Brackettville, several ranchers and local officials called to testify said they were grateful for the presence of the DPS, and some asked for more permanent forces.

Ruben Garibay, who runs an organic farm in neighboring Maverick County, testified that the larger DPS presence and the fences erected by Abbott slowed the flow of people through his farm.

Others testified that they had found the bodies of people who had crossed the border onto their land. Others have testified to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to fences that take hours to repair; robberies and break-ins into hunting cabins and their homes, with some incursions occurring while they and their families were at home.

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