Should illegal immigrants be released from jail?

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Should illegal immigrants be released from jail?

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."

Read more: Father of murdered teen urges Gov. Brown to veto bill ordering illegal immigrants released | Fox News

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I'm confused by this article. Are they saying that known illegal immigrants are being released back into the communities after their jail sentences, or are they saying that police aren't checking the immigration status of people who witness a crime?

I'm thrown off by this sentence:

But Shaw argues that police in California are not interested in checking the immigration status of people who report or witness crimes.

and this from the article:

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"They report that the initiative already has reduced the willingness of immigrant and non-immigrant crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with law enforcement and has consequently diminished public safety," they wrote. The suggestion is that illegal immigrants would be reluctant to report crimes out of concern ICE would come after them.

[/LEFT]

If the question is: should police release known illegal aliens convicted of crimes back onto the streets, my answer is no.

If the question is: should police check on the immigration status of every person they detain for questioning about a crime (people who are reporting crimes or acting as witnesses, not suspects) then my answer is no. You don't want to discourage people (even illegal aliens) from coming forward with knowlege of a crime.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I'm confused by this article. Are they saying that known illegal immigrants are being released back into the communities after their jail sentences, or are they saying that police aren't checking the immigration status of people who witness a crime?

If the question is: should police release known illegal aliens convicted of crimes back onto the streets, my answer is no.

If the question is: should police check on the immigration status of every person they detain for questioning about a crime (people who are reporting crimes or acting as witnesses, not suspects) then my answer is no. You don't want to discourage people (even illegal aliens) from coming forward with knowlege of a crime.

These are people known to be illegal. This bill wants them released unless it was a felony.

The bill would compel law enforcement in California to release illegal immigrants once they become eligible -- even if ICE wants them held -- unless the individual has been convicted of a "serious or violent felony."

I didn't quote the whole article... that statement about checking the immigration status of people who report or witness crimes was in response to this:

In a Sept. 13 letter to Brown signed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic members of the California congressional delegation, supporters urged the governor to sign the bill. They cited accounts that a federal program called Secure Communities "currently erodes trust between local communities and law enforcement."

"They report that the initiative already has reduced the willingness of immigrant and non-immigrant crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with law enforcement and has consequently diminished public safety," they wrote. The suggestion is that illegal immigrants would be reluctant to report crimes out of concern ICE would come after them.

I guess somehow if they don't release illegal immigrant criminals back on the streets it stops witnesses from coming forward.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I guess somehow if they don't release illegal immigrant criminals back on the streets it stops witnesses from coming forward.

I would have to understand the cause and effect more (I still feel like I'm missing out on something because that doesn't make sense to me) but my initial reaction is no, it should be expected that we deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Bet you didn't think I'd agree with you on that! LOL

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I would have to understand the cause and effect more (I still feel like I'm missing out on something because that doesn't make sense to me) but my initial reaction is no, it should be expected that we deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Bet you didn't think I'd agree with you on that! LOL

I doesn't make sense to me either, I don't see how that causes distrust in the community. It just seems unreal to me that some people have gone so far overboard on this issue that they don't even want to deport criminals.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I'm with Alissa...we're all agreeing on this (end of days?!? LOL)

If an illegal immigrant is convicted of a crime then I don't even agree with them being housed in our prisons which are tax funded and overcrowded as it is. Deported immediately in my mind.

At the very least, deported upon release. We don't need someone like the above out in the streets again.

On the witness thing though...very confused.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I admit I was confused an hour ago when I read it and thought I was just tired. I just tried to reread it but it didn't really click. I will have to try harder. lol

Basically, I don't really know what the article is completely saying, but I just think illegal immigrants should be deported.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

If I were an illegal immigrant, I imagine that I'd be scared actually to report a crime or to even get pulled over. I don't think I'd report a crime. Apparently the article is saying currently illegals aren't afraid of this in CA...likely because police just want help solving cases. However what I am not getting is why do illegal immigrant witnesses care if the ones who committed a crime get deported or let go? Surely they came forward to report the crime or give info showing they cared enough to get these people off the streets.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Yeah, when I get a chance I'm going to try to read more about the "Secure Communities" program because I still feel like I'm missing the connect between witnesses reporting crimes and illegal immigrant criminals being deported. It doesn't make sense.