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Gwinnett immigrant challenging driver's license laws as unfair

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Mexican citizen ticketed for driving without a license in Gwinnett will be challenging state driver's license laws in front of Georgia's highest court, arguing the laws are discriminatory and encourage police to racially profile.

Buford resident Fernando Castillo-Solis, 31, is appealing to the Georgia Supreme Court an earlier ruling by Gwinnett Courts denying his motion to suppress evidence in a 2010 traffic arrest that he claims was unconstitutional. The case is scheduled to be argued in Atlanta on Monday afternoon,

Castillo-Solis, a Mexican national who's resided in Georgia for more than a decade, was driving a 2002 Chevy van in January 2010 when he was pulled over by Gwinnett police Officer David Cesar.

Cesar later testified he randomly runs license plate numbers through a computer system as part of his patrol duties. On the day in question, Cesar had determined the van's registration was suspended, and after learning Castillo-Solis was driving without a license, issued him two citations, federal court officials said Thursday.

Castillo-Solis filed motions to suppress the evidence, claiming Georgia's no license statute is unconstitutional. The statute requires drivers to obtain a Georgia driver's license within a month of becoming a resident. Charges are dropped for Georgia citizens who obtain a license prior to trial, the law states.

Castillo-Solis' attorney, Arturo Corso, argues that 2008 amendments to that statute, which increased penalties and required fingerprinting upon conviction, along with the 287(g) program at the Gwinnett jail, "work in concert to create a discriminatory scheme to target undocumented immigrants for arrest and deportation," his complaint reads.

As an undocumented immigrant, Castillo-Solis may not ever obtain a license -- and therefore is denied the right to defend his cause, his attorney argues. The statute, Corso argues, has created a "suspect class."

"This was the very purpose of the new law -- to round up undocumented aliens in a dragnet of license enforcement, and set free any Georgia citizens caught up in the process," Corso said.

In response, Gwinnett Solicitor-General Rosanna Szabo argues the driver had no right to challenged the state law as unconstitutional.

"(Castillo-Solis) did not qualify for a Georgia driver's license because he is not lawfully present in the United States," the written argument states. "Driving is a privilege, not a right ... and driving without a license is against the law."

The state also contends that Castillo-Solis has made no case that the goal of the revised driver's licensed statute is to deport undocumented immigrants.

Amendments to the statute have been in place for more than three years, "yet still, (Castillo-Solis) has presented no evidence of any illegal stops or racial profiling," the state argues.

Jail records indicate Castillo-Solis was not arrested during the traffic stop in question.

Gwinnett is the largest of four Georgia counties participating in the 287 (g) program, which authorizes local law enforcement to begin deportation proceedings on arrestees.

The program, launched in Gwinnett three years ago, has been fodder for immigrant rights supporters who staged rallies and summits in Gwinnett decrying it. Detractors contend the fast-track deportation program encourages racial profiling and discourages immigrants from reporting crimes, in fear of being deported.

Supporters hail the program as a means to ease jail crowding and save the county millions, while pulling law-breakers by the hundreds from streets and neighborhoods.

Comments

vet 1 year, 5 months ago

So he was driving for ten years without a license, sounds like jail and the deportation would be fitting punishment!

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STEVERAMEY 1 year, 5 months ago

Deport this lawbreaker and he won't have anymore problems with the laws in Georgia!

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notblind 1 year, 5 months ago

"This was the very purpose of the new law -- to round up undocumented aliens in a dragnet of license enforcement, and set free any Georgia citizens caught up in the process," Corso said.

I want to compliment Corso on his grasp of the obvious.

Seal the southern border ! Fix the 14th Amendment !

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CD 1 year, 5 months ago

Why was the registration suspended--no insurance? If that is the case then my only complaint is why there was not a 3rd citation for lack of insurance.

By the way, Rosanna "Rosannadanna" needs to go. Porter too.

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NewsReader 1 year, 5 months ago

You're kidding right? This moron isn't an "undocumented immigrant". He is an "illegal alien". Let's start by calling it what it is. He has been here for a decade? Send him packing!

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LAAMC 1 year, 5 months ago

Become a citizen and get a driver's license. You're not above the law dude.

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LAAMC 1 year, 5 months ago

Gee, even the american born citizens go to jail for not having a license, or they go for not having insurance too!

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news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

A Mexican citizen who has resided in Georgia for more than a decade has had more than enough time to do become an American citizen. He should have consulted with his attorney Corso years ago to become legal.

Adios Fernando!

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alismom13 1 year, 5 months ago

This country has been invaded by people using our resources and not paying taxes or complying with or laws. It's a bloodless coup. Several years ago my son was struck by one of these undocumented/uninsured drivers, totaling his vehicle. The illegal didn't stop at his stop sign. I counted the broken laws: illegal entry, unlicensed driver, unregistered/uninsured vehicle, failure to obey traffic law. The police said there was nothing they could do. We had to pay to replace the vehicle ourselves because the insurance company said our policy didn't cover damage done by uninsured vehicles. The same thing happened to my girlfriend in California. I'm glad we have 287 (g) enforcement. We need more such laws to protect us!

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

How can he lose when he qualifies for a FEDERAL Dream-lite work permit ???

GET the dang fed dream-lite pass and GET a GA Driver license FREE!

But wait there's MORE!

So this line just went out the window... "As an undocumented immigrant, Castillo-Solis may not ever obtain a license"

Even when they know the law they just DON"T follow it! If this joker had taken the bus he'd be FREE!

Atten: article author the headline is WRONG and misleading, this is NOT a case of an immigrant presenting a case BUT an ILLEGAL non permanent SELF made resident within our border...Si?

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NorcrossDot 1 year, 5 months ago

If he is illegal how does he have any rights under our constitution. Deport him now. How can he file any suits at all. He has no standing.

Enough of this. I am tired of our "Justice" which is actually not a justice system but a legal system. Big difference.

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notblind 1 year, 5 months ago

We need to deport the lawyer, too.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

He has plenty of rights,

He has the right to LEAVE.

He has the right to comply with our laws.

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DB 1 year, 5 months ago

Our "laws" are becoming a joke.

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Don 1 year, 5 months ago

So for ten years he has gotten away with breaking the law, an illegal immigrant! I would deport him then let him try to protest that his constitutional rights were violated. He is not a citizen of the USA and therefore has no constitutional rights. We are spending taxpayer money to hear this ridiculous case, what a waste.

I agree there should be some more tickets written for this illegal immigrant.

If he does not like this country then I guess he should have never left his. I would support a fund to raise money to bus him back across the border,

I wonder if he has ever begun the process to become legal in this country. If not I wonder why. Maybe his best friend Arturo Corso could give him some guidance on the process of obtaining citizenship. Well maybe that is to late since he should have a criminal record now.

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BuzzG 1 year, 5 months ago

It's time we put the "illegal" back in illegal alien. Fine anyone who employes one of these criminals. Obama is giving 3000 of these criminals "work permits" every day. Democrats need the votes. That is why I am voting all Republican next week.

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notblind 1 year, 5 months ago

There was $1.66B in remittances sent to Mexico last year via legal channels. No telling how much was sent there on the sly.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

Forget sly, we should ask how MUCH Wall-mart makes off transactions like these...

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Sandykin 1 year, 5 months ago

Let me get this straight, when you are undocumented, it's okay to disregard any law that puts any kind of restriction on you? Undocumented status renders you unaffected by the law? Undocumented people are free to roam about and do whatever the heck they please unhampered by the law? Undocumented, unaffected, unhampered. Wow, some "un" life!

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

This results in citizens carrying the "papers" that others just won't do...

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Sandykin 1 year, 5 months ago

When I'm in a country of which I'm not a citizen, I expect to have to carry documents that say I'm allowed to be exactly where I am. But then, I'm a sucker for laws and feel compelled to obey them.

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news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

Yep, I guess we US citizens should just throw away our passports and whine and moan everytime we travel outside our borders. It's no wonder we are turning into the land of entitlement, if Illegals can get away with all this crapola then why can't US citizens? All I can say is this kind of publicity is destroying their arguments with American citizens. Just look at all the votes that disagree with this Illegal's bulls#!+!

StuPID's comments below is the only one that is right and that matters though! Good Lord help us!

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John5214 1 year, 5 months ago

Just watch how this unfolds. With our PC mentality and our "anything goes" for any protected class, this bum will get off. Yes, illegals are a protected class now. Then he will sue and get mega bucks from us. Oh and don't forget WE PAID to educate his kids. You know, the ones WE PAID for when his wife and kid received free hospitalization. Something the average Gwinnett resident can't get because we are LEGAL and we pay taxes. So we have to pay for insurance and hospitalization and education, too. Ahhhh, what a great country.

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Stu 1 year, 5 months ago

Your arguments for immigrant-bashing are so full of fallacies that I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony -- I don't know where to start. So I'll hark back to the words of Abraham Lincoln, who, as usual, said it best:

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal'. We now practically read it asall men are created equal, except African Americans'. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read `all men are created equal, except African Americans and foreigners and Catholics'. When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."

Poor Honest Abe -- he wouldn't be able to win a Republican primary for dogcatcher today. He was far too intelligent, too compassionate, and too humble. Most of all, he was too open to growing in this thinking. In Lincoln's short lifetime, he went from being a dyed in the wool racist to, not only ending slavery, but supporting citizenship and voting rights for African Americans -- very radical ideas for his time.

By contrast, if a Republican politician today takes one step away from rigid Tea Party orthodoxy, or dares to have an original thought, or look for common ground with a Democratic colleague or an immigrant, they are promptly excommunicated from GOP.

Old Abe would be brokenhearted to see that the party he helped found is now being run by the narrow-minded Know Nothing bullies he warned us about.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

Your ENTIRE post above misses the CENTRAL point of the issue.

In an abundance of caution so that it is crystal clear to every following reader:

We are NOT discussing IMMIGRANTS in this situation.

The readers posting here are FOCUSING on the ILLEGAL Immigrants.

In that light, the two TYPES are truly as far apart from each other as east is from west.

GONE are the days we we allow the weak minded arguments that attempt to combine the two distinct statuses as "one" because in reality, it's a FALSE case.

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news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

StuPID, this is not immigrant-bashing - this is Illegal Alien bashing.

Lincoln was trying to help AA that were brought here against their on free will ... they were called Slaves for a reason! How in the heck can you cherrypick Lincoln and compare anything of today's Illegal Invasion?

The great generation of immigrants that came through Ellis Island would even laugh at your bull$#!+!

You cannot quote Lincoln and then add in your own delusional dialogue to support your socialist crapola!

StuPID!

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Motor76 1 year, 5 months ago

Stu...Emancipation was granted for slaves only in Union controlled states.. Lincoln didn't end slavery, The Union take over of the south did. Someone is NOT smarter than a 5th grader.

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MichaelMarr 1 year, 5 months ago

Hate, hate and more hate. Such is anonymous blog life.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

Facts, facts, facts, sometimes they are indeed unpleasant ,but do not equate with "hate" out of hand ...

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