Monday, April 13, 2009

Additional Poignant Stories of Immigrants Afraid To Help Police Stop Crime

Even more stories about immigrants afraid to help police stop crime. One solution to this public safety problem is to ensure that immigrants who are victims or witnesses to crimes may not be turned over by local police to immigration authorities. In New Jersey, one man called 911, told the police, and helped the police catch the criminals but the local police violated his rights by turning him over to the immigration authorities. Despite numerous pleas for using discretion, ICE has continually fought to deport the man, winning cases with an immigration judge, the BIA, and the Third Circuit. Unless that is stopped, then immigrants have every reason to be afraid to call the police.

David Betancourt wrote for the Washington Post on February 7, 2009, that Death Spurs 911 Drive To Assure Immigrants after Jose Sanchez lay fatally injured for almost 20 minutes on a sidewalk as more than 150 walked by without calling the police. Many were afraid to call the authorities for fear of being asked about their immigration status. It would be too drastic to blame ICE for the death, but their controversial insistence on deporting crime victims and crime witnesses is certainly not helping public safety.

Lisa Miller of WFAE posted a report called Report Critical of Local, Federal Deportation Partnership on February 19, 2009, in which researchers at UNC Law School conclude that allowing local police to enforce immigration law leads to racial profiling and makes people afraid to report crimes. Sheriff Chipp Bailey of Mecklenburg County said he heard concerns that immigrants are more reluctant to contact police.

Jamie Duffy and Tanya Drobness wrote Deportation Fears in Morris County Hamper Efforts To Probe Domestic Abuse in the Star-Ledger on March 9, 2009. While Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello and Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi try to convince domestic violence victims that they should feel free to call police for help, it is hard to convince actual victims that it is safe to call the police. Although the police try to work with the Jersey Battered Women's Service, Francisco DeJesus, president of Dover Multiservices Agency told of hearing horror stories of domestic violence victims afraid to call the police. Fears are well-founded considering ICE's persistent effort to deport a man who called the local police to provide critical help to catch criminals. Even though the man was a crime victim and crime witness, ICE has worked for years to deport him even though the only way they found out about him was due to illegal questioning by the local police after he called 911.


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