OCTOBER 09, 2007
Frowning upon police departments that donâ??t check immigration status, the attorney general in a state with a large undocumented population assures his law enforcement agencies verify suspectsâ?? immigration status when in fact they donâ??t.
On the heels of violent crimes committed nationwide by previously convicted illegal immigrants, some states are reconsidering the policies of many police departments forbidding officers from asking about a suspectsâ?? immigration status.
In New Jersey for instance, the attorney general recently issued a directive ordering law enforcement agencies statewide to ask suspects about immigration status after an illegal immigrant with an extensive criminal record murdered three college-bound students execution style in a Newark schoolyard.
The assailant, Jose Carranza, had been arrested at least three times and had felony charges for aggravated sexual assault of a child and weapons violations yet he was free on bail and allowed to go on the murderous rampage because police did not contact federal authorities to have him deported. Thatâ??s because they didnâ??t bother checking if he was in the country legally.
According to Florida Attorney General Bill MCCollum that would never happen in his state, with an illegal immigrant population of about one million, because law enforcement agencies already investigate the alien status of anyone arrested â??as a matter of routine.â?
It turns out, however, that most of the Sunshine Stateâ??s local police departments have no such policies and in fact rarely verify the immigration status of a suspect. Furthermore, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and several local police agencies throughout the state have no written policy regarding situations in which officers are required to ask about immigration status.
With an especially large illegal immigrant population, the city of Miamiâ??s police department generally wonâ??t ask about immigration status and neither will the sheriffâ??s department in the nearby county of Broward.
Itâ??s actually quite common for states and municipalities across the nation to release repeat illegal alien offenders without notifying federal immigration officials to have them deported. Many of them have gone on to commit atrocious crimesâ??murder and sexual assault among themâ??against innocent, law-abiding Americans because law enforcement officers donâ??t inquire about immigration.
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