Catch and Release?

Los Angeles Sheriff to Stop Turning Over Low-level Offenders to Immigration

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In early December 2012, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca (pictured above) announced he will no longer detain illegal immigrants for committing low-level crimes. The federal request to detain suspected illegal immigrants was ruled voluntary under new state guidelines. It is worth noting Sheriff Baca’s mother came to the United States illegally when he was a baby.  I do believe the fact his mother was an illegal citizen influenced this decision but that is neither here nor there. 

The decision made by Sheriff Baca not only inhibits the fight against illegal immigration in Los Angeles, but all of California and potentially the United States. By refusing to cooperate/helping with immigration officials to do their job, Baca is allowing illegals to go back on the street. The article labels low-level crimes as petty theft and graffiti but since when is entering our country illegally a “low-level offense”. The entire Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is providing a free pass to illegal immigrants! The Sheriff’s Department is not going out of their way to help Immigration Officers because the illegals literally are falling right in their lap. Why would knowingly release a suspected illegal citizen when all it takes is a simple phone call to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? 

In concurrence with Sheriff Baca, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck will also no longer be follow the federal request. Chief Beck believes illegal immigrants arrested for low-level offenses should not be turn over to proper authorities. Beck has even stated he wants his department to refrain from  handing over illegals for potential deportation. This is completely baffling. I understand toes are stepped on frequently in “turf wars” but this is blatant obstruction and completely undermining the process of removing illegal immigrants. This is only making the problem worse. 

“The Secure Communities program was created to weed out lawbreaking illegal immigrants from county jails, but has been lambasted by critics for placing victims of domestic violence in deportation proceedings and deterring immigrants from reporting crimes.” Okay fine, so a few domestic crimes would go unreported because they would be worried about deportation. Guess what? They are not here legally so they do not have the rights of an American. If they are victims of domestic violence but are afraid of reporting resulting in deportation that is their problem, NOT the problem of a LEGAL American citizen.

The fact this is taking place in one of the worst locations of illegal immigration is genuinely disturbing. What if that “low-level” criminal that is released was a Mexican drug runner or part of a Cartel? Now he or she is simply set free without questioning? Illegal immigrants are beginning to have more civil liberties/rights than the legal citizens of the United States. 

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