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Police shouldn't be immigration agents

April 16, 2007

Re "Police face new suit on immigrants," April 11

Former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates had terrific foresight when he issued Special Order 40, relieving police officers of the responsibility of conducting stops or investigations based solely on the immigration status of a person. Gates' primary reason was to eliminate fears of deportation by immigrants who may otherwise cooperate with police.

The best reason why Los Angeles police officers should not be an arm of immigration enforcement is that they should be available to attack more serious crimes, primarily the violent and murderous gangs that exist, a small minority of which are illegal immigrants.

Gates made a decision based on great management of his department then, and it still applies today. I support the mayor and the current chief in their positions against using officers as immigration agents. Until we have more than enough field officers, we don't need them enforcing what immigration agents are charged with.

STAN NELSON

\o7Irvine

\f7

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