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San Diego Law Enforcement Agencies React To Immigration Opinion

Aired 12/6/12 on KPBS News.

The San Diego Police Department says it will not change any of its policies relating to the treatment of undocumented arrestees.

California’s attorney general told local law enforcement agencies that they can choose whether to follow the 2008 federal Secure Communities law. It requires departments to send the fingerprints of undocumented people they arrest to federal immigration officials.

A San Diego police car out on patrol.
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Above: A San Diego police car out on patrol.

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San Diego County Sheriff's policy on immigration status of arrestees

San Diego County Sheriff's policy on immigration status of arrestees

San Diego County Sheriff's policy on immigration status ...

San Diego Executive Assistant Police Chief David Ramirez said if an undocumented person is arrested and released in the city of San Diego, they will not be reported to federal officials. And he said those arrested and charged are not automatically reported to the feds. Ramirez said the department wants people to feel safe interacting with officers.

“We are firm believers that, if we have a victim of a crime or a witness of a crime, we still want them to come forward and not be concerned about their immigration status,” he said.

Ramirez said police officers do not stop people to check their immigration status.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said it is still evaluating the attorney general’s opinion and will meet with its attorneys and immigration officials to discuss developing an updated policy. The department’s current policy allows immigration officials to check the legal status of people in the sheriff’s custody. Undocumented people can be transferred to federal custody and ultimately deported.

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