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The LAPD and the border

November 01, 2009

Re "Cops, not ICE," Opinion, Oct. 27

Outgoing Chief William J. Bratton is all wrong in his article regarding the work of the Los Angeles Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The community at large does not condone the deportation of victims and witnesses; what it wants is the intervention and assistance of ICE in the deportation of criminals. And for ICE to do its job, it needs the cooperation of the LAPD.

It is something officers on the street want to do but are kept from doing because of wrongheaded policies.

Carlos Ferreyra

Valley Glen

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Rightfully, Bratton's singular focus is on crime, which he has successfully addressed during his term.

So within the framework of crime only, yes, cops don't need to act as immigration agents. But U.S. citizens are not focused only on crime, as critically important as it is, but also on our vanishing culture -- depressed wages for U.S. workers and massive local and state budget deficits due to illegal immigrants gobbling up huge portions of education, social services and medical services.

For these reasons, many of us are in favor of all local police acting as federal ICE agents.

Mike Bennett

Rowland Heights

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I wanted to sincerely thank Bratton for his dedicated service to our city and for his wise parting words on how the LAPD can really keep our neighborhoods safe.

By openly defending Special Order 40, he shows that he is a true Angeleno who believes in community cooperation, aware of the risk that programs like 287(g) can lead to community alienation.

Bratton can proudly point to a decrease in the level of crime, and he can do so in large part thanks to the trust that exists between his officers and the people they serve.

Let's hope the next chief has an equally sensible and fair view of how to fight crime: that is, by not alienating members of our communities.

Jenjira Yahirun

Los Angeles

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Someone remind Bratton that he is no longer running for office. With his flawed argument, one should conclude that some local sheriff's departments, which all operate with a 287(g), are unable to effectively deal with the victims and witnesses of crime in their communities.

These agencies encounter foreign-born criminals and immigration violators who pose a threat to national security or public safety. This program allows participating local agencies to ensure that criminal aliens are not back on our streets after being released from jail. That's something that allows all of us to live safer.

J.J. Johnson

Seal Beach

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