KSL had a rather illuminating story yesterday on how our tax dollars are spent busting Utahns who bring illegal fireworks back from that fireworks-coddling Wyoming. Perhaps most enlightening was the way that the UHP cop blithely seemed to admit making pretext stops in order to check for fireworks.
"Between the 4th and the 24th of July you could almost patrol the entire month and you're going to find something," the trooper was quoted.
According to the ride-along reporter, his first stop was for "a tailgating infraction." Seriously? The next stop was "suspected drowsy driving." (Apparently he wasn't driving poorly enough to suspect drunk driving.) No fireworks found, darn it. Finally, the trooper lucked out with a speeder who, for reasons unknown, fessed up information about his fireworks stash that he had no obligation to volunteer.
This is what I believe opponents of Arizona's new immigration law fear. Under the law (which I have read, including the House amendment), there does have to be an initial unrelated stop, but it can be for anything, including infractions and violation of local ordinances. As we can see from these fireworks busters, that leaves a lot of room for "unrelated" stops.