Thursday, November 17, 2011

District of Columbia Bill Protects Immigrants with no criminal record

Posted at 04:17 PM ET, 11/15/2011 - From Washington Post LOCAL

Bill will make it harder to detain suspected illegal
undocumented immigrants

All 13 D.C. Council members are co-sponsoring a bill to restrict the city’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration officials by making it more difficult to detain suspected illegalundocumented immigrants.

Under the bill introduced Tuesday, the Department of Corrections can only detain suspected illegal immigrants who have previous convictions for violent crime.

And even then, according to the legislation, a suspect would be released after 24 hours if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials fail to pick them up.

“What we are saying is we want to maintain the bright line between what federal immigration officials do and what our local police do,” said Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At large), the chief sponsor of the legislation. “We have for years tried to maintain that bright line. We want local police dedicated to crime solving in the District of Columbia and we don’t want to create mistrust with our immigrant populations.”

Mendelson said his bill, modeled after similar proposals in New York and Chicago, would be an official break between the city and federal officials over the new Secure Communities program.

Being rolled out nationwide, the program is designed to bolster cooperation between local and federal officials to try to combat some crimes associated with illegal immigration. But some local officials complain the program hampers relationships with local immigrant populations...MORE
By  |  04:17 PM ET, 11/15/2011

No comments: