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Manuel Pastor: The Risk of Police Cooperation with ICE

Manuel Pastor: In Los Angeles County there's about 950,000 undocumented immigrants, but for those undocumented immigrants, they have about 700,000 U.S. born family members who live in the same households. They've got about another 100,000 naturalized citizens, family members who live in the same households. So you're talking about a lot of mixed status families. So you can imagine if the police are randomly hanging people over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement not only will the undocumented immigrants not report a crime to the police like domestic abuse or a break-in but their family members might not not as well, and that reaches up to 20 percent really of the Los Angeles County population. So any law enforcement that really supports community policing does not want to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Now, that's been a bone of contention for those who are conservatives, they call it a sanctuary city policy and that's really where I think the kind of conflicts are going to come between the Attorney General and the Federal Government is around the Federal Government's desire to reduce federal money even on law enforcement to local law enforcement authorities that are not cooperating with Immigration and Customs. 

Val Zavala: And they essentially say we are the local police and immigration is not our job, that's the fundamental, leave that to ICE and the feds.

Manuel Pastor: And they're saying that I think for a couple of different reasons. One is it's not their job and their job is hard enough already, but the second is that they know that if they... just imagine if you're a woman and you're the victim of domestic abuse and you want to report the person whose abusing you, but you don't want to have Immigration and Customs Enforcement swoop in and uncover other members of your household who might be undocumented, you're not going to report that abuse. We have been hearing, people in the field about much lower reports of crime from immigrant communities and it’s not because crime has gone down, but because they are fearful of reporting it. We are hearing of many immigrants no longer going to county health services because they are fearful that by going to the county health services they’re going to get snagged up and officialdom, and wind up getting reported to ICE. And as a result, they wind up showing up in the emergency ward with more severe problems that could have been curtailed by going to county health services.People who are interested in public health, people who are interested in public safety think that local authorities should not be an agent of immigration enforcement.  


 

Manuel Pastor, USC professor and immigration expert, explains the changing ethnic makeup of the county country and the slowing down of immigration.

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