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prohibited from asking the immigration status

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Bocephus View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 11 2010 at 10:44pm

By Lucas Sullivan | Monday, January 11, 2010, 04:30 PM

DAYTON - City police officers are now prohibited from asking the immigration status of a witness or victim of a crime in hopes it eases fears some ethnic groups have of law enforcement.

Police Chief Richard Biehl issued the executive order to his nearly 390 officers on Dec. 30 telling them, “Citizens must feel free to call for police services without fear of undue repercussions.”

Biehl’s order, aimed mostly at the Latino community, goes on to say a “Police presence within the entire community is extremely important to engender a feeling of safety and trust…”

The order is being cheered by the city’s Hispanic community, whose leaders have said many victims of crimes who can’t provide documented citizenship don’t report incidents to police because they fear being arrested or even deported.

“Reporting crimes helps everyone in the community and Chief Biehl wants to stop crime in the city,” said Sister Maria Stacy, director of the local Hispanic Catholic Ministry. “When victims are willing to report it, crime can be decreased.”

Biehl said he was made aware of issues some ethnic groups in the city, most notably the Latino population, had with his department and its policing practices.

“After talking with my command staff I realized that it is something we needed to study more and since it was such a lightning rod issue, to see if there were going to be any federal measures taken,” he said.

One issue in particular, arose nearly three years ago, Stacy said, when some in the Latino community felt officers were frequently making traffic stops and issuing tickets to Hispanics.

“Some people became very hesitant of the police and started to not report things because their experience was they would get into trouble,” Stacy said.

Dayton police union president Randy Beane disagrees with Biehl’s order, saying it circumvents federal law officers are asked to follow regarding illegal immigrants. Beane said some officers disagree with Biehl’s order so strongly they said they are willing to disobey it.

“We believe that anyone in this country should be legal or in the process of becoming legal,” Beane said. “In this age of terrorism it is our duty to make sure someone is legally living in this country.”

But Biehl maintains the directive, which is modeled after a recommendation from an organization of police chiefs from the country’s largest cities, actually helps his officers better police the community and seek out any terrorist element.

“We must protect this community and in doing so make sure all citizens, documented or undocumented, who are victims or witnesses to a crime feel they can talk to police,” Biehl said. “It is our duty to protect and serve everyone within the city limits.”

Community leaders estimate there are between 20,000 and 30,000 Latinos living in the city, concentrated mostly on the city’s east side. Dave Larson, a local immigration attorney said there could be between 5,000 to 10,000 undocumented Latinos in the city, “But that is merely a guess.”

Activists in the Latino community and law enforcement officials are eagerly awaiting new U.S. Census Bureau data that should provide a more accurate number of Latinos living in the city.

Stacy and other Latino leaders said they aren’t aware of any other local police departments issuing such an order because there isn’t enough of a population to warrant a directive.

The economy has inhibited, if not reversed, any population growth in the Latino community in the area, Stacy said.

As for any changes to policy or police practices, Biehl said he was not sure what, if any, would be implemented. But Biehl said he does not want his officers determining if a victim or witness to a crime is a legal citizen or even asking questions related to someone’s immigration status.

He added those who feel undocumented immigrants are not privy to services provided by taxpayers are “wrong-headed.”

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Hermes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hermes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2010 at 11:28pm

This police chief is an IDIOT !!! Hopefully he'll lose his friggin job !!

Why should my taxes pay for services going to ILLEGAL & undocumented people ?!!
 
Oh I'm sorry...according to this IDIOT I'm wrong-headed. Friggin pathetic !
No more democrats no more republicans,vote Constitution Party !!
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rngrmed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rngrmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 1:41am
Hermes--so what if you are the victim of a crime, an illegal witnesses it but won't come forward out of fear of being deported?
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wasteful View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wasteful Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 7:00am
Originally posted by rngrmed rngrmed wrote:

Hermes--so what if you are the victim of a crime, an illegal witnesses it but won't come forward out of fear of being deported?
 
Regardless whether the ILLEGAL comes forward or not they should be deported period.  If you broke the law to get into this country, then you should be arrested and deported.  Why is this so hard to understand?  You broke the law to get here yet we should all turn a blind eye to that fact, it makes absolutely no sense.  Spare us the, "they want a better life crap", they can tell that to the Mexican Government.  Breaking the law is breaking the law.
 
For a City that is dying the Police Chief just opened it up to more people who will take advantage of more Social programs, strain Dayton's Education System, Strain Dayton's Welfare and Medical System and take legal residents tax dollars to do it.
 
Personally I would fire the Chief if he didn't revoke this order.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 7:33am
Question for the chief....... if the officer can't ask about the legality status of a suspect, how is the officer going to determine if he is a legal citizen and is therefore treated , not as an illegal, but rather as a regular citizen? How does the officer deal with the issue of weeding out the illegals if he can't ask the appropriate questions? Not logical, is it?   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hermes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 6:23pm
Originally posted by rngrmed rngrmed wrote:

Hermes--so what if you are the victim of a crime, an illegal witnesses it but won't come forward out of fear of being deported?
 
With the police chief making this order he is violating the law itself.  
Federal Immigration and Nationality Act
Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)
Aiding & Abetting Illegal Immigrants
 
What I want to know is did the chief get his orders from elsewhere ? Or did he dream this stupid crap up himself ?
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