Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Georgia Police Reach Out To Immigrants

Mary Lou Pickel wrote an article on August 7, 2007 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how "DeKalb police reach out to immigrants." DeKalb County police officer Jose Ayala explained to a crowd that criminals target the Hispanic population specifically because of the immigration question. The police are working to urge people not to be afraid of the police and to report crimes. According to Ms. Pickel, police have known for some time that Hispanic laborers make up a greater proportion of robbery victims because they carry cash. And officer Ayala explained that criminals prey on Hispanic immigrants because they assume they won't go to the police.

These developments make it even more important for local police to work closely with all communities and not to misuse their powers by trying to enforce immigration law violations that are merely civil violations. They should instead focus on enforcing the criminal laws -- and making absolutely sure that local police do not turn crime victims in for deportation, especially someone with no criminal record (something local police in New Jersey did in 2005 to an immigrant who called the police after receiving various threats).


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