Sunday, January 27, 2008

Local California Police Need People Afraid Of Deportation To Help Fight Crime

In California, a story in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin by Andrea Bennett titled "Police ask for neighborhood's help" on January 25, 2008 explained that in Ontario, California, local police are encouraging local residents to call the police with any information to help find a man they suspect was involved with abducting and sexually assaulting a 6-year old girl.

Local residents, though, said some people will not give critical information and tips to the police because they are concerned about being threatened with deportation. Detective Mark Ortiz told the audience that they do not enforce immigration law and that they are there to protect them. Residents, though, are saying they want to help but are afraid of being deported.

In New Jersey, someone afraid of the threat of deportation nevertheless called local NJ police and gave critical information to help the police catch some people involved in alien smuggling. The local NJ police then took the informant and handed him over to the immigration authorities so that they could work on trying to deport the informant!

Even after raising these issues with ICE (immigration and customs enforcement), with an immigration judge, and with the Board of Immigration Appeals, the informant is still threatened and on the verge of being deported from New Jersey. It seems the last hope will be the Third Circuit Court of Appeals or if somehow somebody in the government realizes the mistake of deporting critical, helpful police informants. Until then, well-informant people will have a good reason to be afraid of calling the local police in the United States even if they have crucial information to help protect public safety and fight crime.

That is just the type of short-sighted approach that will hurt national security, impede crime-fighting efforts, and put everyone who lives in the United States in greater danger.


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