In February 2014, Luciano Sandoval paid a fine in Bakersfield for no drivers'
license. Three days later, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency
took him to jail.
Undocumented persons may be deported if they were inadmissible at the time
of entry. Mr. Sandoval's trip to the courthouse was apparently enough
to tip off ICE that he was undocumented. Although ICE had previously stated
that it would refrain from acting against nonviolent offenders, there are
several similar cases in Kern County, in which ICE apparently initiated deportation proceedings essentially
because of traffic tickets.
The Kern County Superior Court stated that it discourages its employees
from contacting ICE regarding undocumented persons. Mr. Sandoval is no
longer in jail, but he must wear a GPS ankle monitor until at least his
next court date.
Traffic ticket consequences
Although they do not compare to being removed from your home and your family,
there are numerous
consequences to traffic tickets in Kern County, not all of which are readily apparent:
Traffic school may be an option for some drivers, although the availability
varies along with the relief you receive; for example, a commercial driver
in their private vehicle may prevent a point from appearing on their California
drivers record, but the conviction would still appear to their employer,
insurance companies, and for federal government purposes.