When their sentence is up should illegal immigrants be released into the community instead of held to be deported even if ICE wants them held?
A California father whose son was murdered execution-style in 2008 by an illegal immigrant gangster has launched a campaign to persuade Gov. Jerry Brown to veto a bill that would have police release illegal immigrants into the streets even when the feds want them detained.
The controversial bill, which passed the legislature in August, would compel local law enforcement in most cases to ignore requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold illegal immigrants if they could otherwise be released.
Secure Communities is a program that allows federal immigration agents to work with local officials to determine who in local jails might be deportable.
But Shaw argues that police in California are not interested in checking the immigration status of people who report or witness crimes.
Further, he argues that in California in particular, illegal immigrants are not fearful of law enforcement.
Federal immigration officials have defended the Secure Communities program, which they say has helped the agency remove nearly 150,000 convicted criminals to date -- including murderers and rapists.
ICE Director John Morton wrote in an Aug. 23 letter to FAIR that communities that ignore ICE requests to hold detainees "are undermining public safety in their communities by exposing their local communities to risks from suspected and convicted sex offenders, weapons violators, drunk drivers and other violent criminals."
"These are not hypothetical risks," he wrote. The letter was in reference to a separate initiative in Illinois.
ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that the agency implements "clear priorities" to focus on convicted criminals. She stressed the importance of local cooperation, without commenting specifically on the California proposal.
"The federal government alone sets these priorities and places detainers on individuals arrested on criminal charges to ensure that dangerous criminal aliens and other priority individuals are not released from prisons/jails and into our communities," she said. "The Administration remains committed to immigration reform and to enforcing current law in a smart and effective manner across the country."