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7/15: Police enforcement of immigration laws -- update

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Police enforcement of immigration laws -- update July 15, 2004 National Immigration Forum From: ltramonte@immigrationforum.org This email update covers the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 20, 2004
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      Police enforcement of immigration laws -- update
      July 15, 2004
      National Immigration Forum
      From: ltramonte@...

      This email update covers the following topics:
      Congressional activity
      MOU proposed by LA County Sheriff
      Update on VA activity
      Revised chart of local resolutions
      TX symposium in August
      News clips from late June to present
      (1) Unfunded mandates SCAAP money must be increased EL PASO TIMES (Editorial)
      (2) Undocumented workers face increasing scrutiny SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
      (3) Law on felons worries immigrants Richmond Times Dispatch
      (4) NEW LAW CONCERNS POLICE Daily News-Record
      (5) Trooper: Hispanics like that 'bad apples' may face deportation Richmond
      Times-Dispatch
      (6) IMMIGRANTS WORRY ABOUT NEW LAW Fairfax Connection
      (7) Police Chiefs Thumb Nose At Illegal-Immigration Laws San Francisco
      Chronicle
      (8) Council adopts immigrant policy Durango Herald
      (9) Many migrant workers die unclaimed by families in Palm Beach County SOUTH
      FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
      (10) Sheriff wants deputies to ID illegal immigrants in jails, boosting
      federal reimbursement. Critics see a slippery slope Los Angeles Times
      (11) Una mala idea del sheriff
      (12) New Virginia law scaring immigrants Washington Times


      Lynn Tramonte
      Senior Policy/Communications Associate
      National Immigration Forum
      50 F Street, NW
      Suite 300
      Washington, DC 20001
      main phone 202.347.0040
      fax 202.347.0058
      www.immigrationforum.org
      The National Immigration Forum's website has been expanded and reorganized at
      http://www.immigrationforum.org We also have a NEW website devoted to
      immigrant integration. Check out the Community Resource Bank at
      http://communityresourcebank.org



      1) Congressional Update

      The CLEAR Act (H.R. 2671) turned one year old on July 9th. While the bill
      initially racked up co-sponsors thanks to its proponents’ misinformation about
      what it would actually do, CLEAR’s popularity has fallen off significantly.
      The vast majority of CLEAR Act sponsors signed up before the October 1, 2003
      House Immigration Subcommittee hearing, where many Democratic and two Republican
      members highlighted the significant opposition to this bill from state and
      local police and governments, crime victim advocates, and immigrants’ rights
      advocates. The debate over this legislation suddenly became more complex, and
      fewer members signed up as sponsors of the legislation. The highlight came when
      proponents realized they could not move this bill in the House Immigration
      Subcommittee because it would fail in its current form.

      Unable to move the CLEAR Act in its entirety this Congressional cycle,
      certain proponents have been putting forward pieces of this bill and its Senate
      companion (the Homeland Security Enhancement Act, S. 1906) as amendments to
      various appropriations bills under consideration in the House. Similar efforts have
      not yet cropped up in the Senate, although rumors have suggested that Senator
      Sessions (R-AL), lead HSEA sponsor, might attempt similar tactics.

      Interestingly enough, these CLEAR provisions-as-amendments are not being
      proposed by CLEAR Act introductory sponsors, but rather by Representative Tom
      Tancredo (R-CO), self-styled head of the House anti-immigrant caucus, and other
      close allies. The amendments have typically focused on bullying cities that
      have immigration status confidentiality policies in place into dropping these
      policies, using financial pressure and threats. In all cases so far, these
      amendments have been ruled out on points of order (i.e. dismissed from
      consideration because they do not relate to the funding bills they are being attached to)
      or voted down by significant majorities.

      These amendments state that the confidentiality policies provide “sanctuary”
      for immigrant criminals. These policies do not shelter criminals, but rather
      allow crime victims and witnesses to interact with local police without
      fearing that their immigration status (or that of a relative) could come into
      question. In fact, the cities that have such policies in place are often those who
      contact the Department of Homeland Security most regularly to check
      immigration status of crime perpetrators (as reported by the Law Enforcement Support
      Center at DHS), or who are recipients of funding for incarcerating foreign
      nationals who have committed crimes (under the State Criminal Alien Assistance
      Program). Therefore, the charges from Rep. Tancredo and his allies are ludicrous,
      and communication to Congressional offices by New York City and other
      stakeholders have made this clear.

      Most recently, Representative Steve King (R-IA) proposed an amendment to the
      Commerce-State-Justice appropriations bill being considered on the House floor
      that would have taken $1,000,000 out of the budget for Justice Department
      lawyers, to pay for “enforcement” of Section 642 of the Illegal Immigration
      Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. This section states that state and local
      governments cannot bar civil servants from disclosing immigration status
      information about individuals to the Department of Homeland Security. The
      intended targets of the King amendment were the scores of cities, localities, and
      states around the country that have policies in place that encourage immigrants
      to interact with state and local social services and law enforcement agencies
      irregardless of their federal immigration status. However, King’s assertion
      that these policies are in violation of federal law is wrong. Indeed, New York
      City’s policy was revised to comport with the 1996 law after a legal
      challenge, and the other policies around the country are also in compliance with
      federal law.

      Regardless of the effect this particular amendment would have ultimately had,
      voting for it was seen as a vote against local rights to determine community
      policing policies, and a mini-referendum on Section 102 of the CLEAR Act/HSEA.
      The amendment was defeated 278 to 139, losing by an even greater margin that
      Rep. Tancredo’s attempt, in June, to enact a very similar provision (Tancredo’
      s amendment failed 148 to 256). Most interestingly, lead CLEAR Act
      co-sponsor Melissa Hart (R-PA) voted against the King amendment (she also voted against
      the Tancredo amendment). Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake
      (R-AZ), two of our allies on the CLEAR Act who had supported Tancredo’s amendment
      in June, voted against the King proposal this time. And as with the previous
      Tancredo foray, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) sent out a whip alert that
      lead to most Democrats opposing the amendment, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
      issued another influential Dear Colleague letter advising members to vote no.


      It looks like House members are growing weary of repeated attempts by
      immigration restrictionists to enact these anti-confidentiality measures. However,
      Tancredo and his cohorts continue to dream up creative ways to pass their
      agenda piecemeal. We will continue to be vigilant and inform you of any
      significant developments in either chamber. Until then, keep up your anti-CLEAR and
      HSEA advocacy! The buzz you all have created about the demerits of this bill
      certainly contributed to the defeat of these related amendments, which sprung up
      with little notice or time to react. We expect that this could continue to
      happen for the rest of the 108th Congress, and encourage you to continue your
      anti-CLEAR Act/HSEA work.





      2) Los Angeles County Considers MOU

      Rep. Tancredo is attempting to build the case for a federal law change like
      the CLEAR Act or these amendments by showing law enforcement support, and it
      appears that he’s grasping at straws. In a recent Dear Colleague, Mr. Tancredo
      chose to highlight an initiative by Sheriff Baca of Los Angeles County to sign
      an MOU with the Department of Homeland Security as proof that law enforcement
      opposes “sanctuary” policies and wants to enforce immigration laws. This is
      ironic because Sheriff Baca has said that the CLEAR Act would undermine his
      deputies’ ability to work with the community. It is also ironic because the
      MOU construct is part of current law, and arguing for a new law by saying that
      the current law is working seems to be an unusual tactic.

      The MOU Sheriff Baca is proposing would allow certain sheriffs’ deputies to
      be trained in immigration law and administer interviews in Los Angeles County
      jails to identify inmates who are “convicted criminal aliens” or “previously
      deported criminal aliens.” Such interviews are currently conducted by a team
      of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers stationed in the jail.
      Conceivably, a larger corps of officers conducting these interviews would allow
      Los Angeles County to identify as many inmates who fit these categories as
      possible, so that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) could
      maximize its requests for reimbursement under the State Criminal Alien Assistance
      Program (SCAAP), and ICE could deport more of the prison population that is
      eligible for removal.

      Local advocates cite many reasons they oppose this initiative. These include
      the 1996 changes to federal immigration laws that made more people deportable
      for minor offenses. Also, while the MOU states that the immigration
      enforcement activities of trained deputies will be limited to work at the jails,
      advocates fear that the scope of the alliance between LASD and ICE could expand to
      other areas, including screening people who enter the jail facilities to visit
      inmates, interviewing detainees pre-sentencing, or patrols.

      Advocates such as the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
      (CHIRLA), the ACLU of Southern California, and others have scheduled a meeting
      with Sheriff Baca and have been weighing in with the Los Angeles County Board of
      Supervisors, which needs to approve the MOU. The Board of Supervisors vote
      has been postponed until after the advocates’ meeting with the Sheriff. For
      more information, see the press clips below or contact Greg Simons of CHIRLA at
      gsimons@....

      To read the draft MOU, visit: http://lacounty.info/bos/sop/supdocs/12865.pdf.




      3) Fallout from New Virginia Law

      A new alliance of service/legal aid providers and immigrant advocacy
      organizations in Virginia has come together to brunt the negative consequences of a
      new Virginia law related to police coordination with immigration enforcement.
      This group, the Virginia Alliance for Sensible Community Policing Efforts
      (VA-SCOPE), is working on public education and advocacy surrounding HB 570 and a
      potential Memorandum of Understanding between the Virginia State Police and
      Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

      HB 570 went into effect July 1, and essentially allows police to make
      warrantless arrests of foreign nationals who were previously convicted of a felony in
      the U.S., deported (or left voluntarily), have illegally re-entered the
      United States, and whom the police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe is
      committing a crime in the United States. Despite advocates’ best efforts to
      educate the community, there is a lot of fear and misinformation regarding what
      the law does and does not allow police to do. News reports have told of women
      afraid to report domestic abuse and workers afraid to leave their homes since
      the law took effect.

      Police departments in at least four counties (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax,
      and Albemarle) have issued statements describing the limited nature of this
      law and assuring the public that they will not go on a fishing expedition
      looking for undocumented immigrants. Advocates are also conducting public
      education to clear up misconceptions. VA-SCOPE is also monitoring the situation and
      establishing a mechanism to collect and analyze complaints against police
      officers who take their new authorities too far.

      Talk about a potential MOU between the Virginia State Police and DHS has
      contributed to immigrants’ fears that accessing police protection is no longer
      worry-free. VA-SCOPE is attempting to arrange a meeting with Governor Warner’s
      office in advance of any decision on the MOU.

      For more information on these various initiatives, see the news clips at the
      end of this document. To get involved in VA-SCOPE (or to get on their
      list-serv), contact Tim Freilich with the Virginia Justice Center at
      tim@....




      4) Updated Chart of Local Ordinance/Resolutions

      The National Immigration Law Center has recently updated its terrific chart
      of states and localities that have policies that encourage immigrants to deal
      with local police and social services. Over 20 states and 50 localities are
      represented in this chart. To receive an updated copy via email, please email
      Anita Sinha of NILC at sinha@.... To report any new local
      ordinance/resolution efforts, you may also contact Anita.




      5) Texas Symposium on Immigrant Access to Police Protection

      Is permanent residency permanent?
      Immigration and law enforcement after 9-11
      WHAT: A symposium to educate law enforcement, legal professionals,
      immigrant service providers, and members of the immigrant community on issues
      related to immigration and law enforcement.
      WHO: Law enforcement, legal professionals, immigrant service
      providers, members of the immigrant community
      Sponsored by
      · Catholic Charities
      · The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
      · The South Texas College of Law Chapter of the American Civil
      Liberties Union
      · 30th Parallel, Inc. – Information, Referral, and Advocacy Services
      for Immigrants and Refugees

      WHEN: Friday, August 6, 2004
      9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

      WHERE: South Texas College of Law
      1303 San Jacinto Street (downtown)
      Houston, Texas 77002

      Map available at www.stcl.edu/01welcome/map_houston.htm

      SCHEDULE
      9:30 Registration
      10:00-10:30 Welcome City of Houston Councilman Gordon Quan
      10:30-12:00 First Panel
      Craig E. Ferrell, Jr., Houston Police Dept.
      Harris County Constable Victor Trevino
      Lynn Tramonte, National Immigration Forum
      A representative from the Dept. of Homeland Security
      12:00-1:30 Lunch with Speaker
      1:30-3:00 Breakout Topics (discussions will take place
      simultaneously)

      Law Enforcement
      Audience Those who work in law enforcement.
      Speakers Lt. Humberto Lopez, Houston Police Dept.; Constable Victor Trevino;
      Dept. of Homeland Security; Coalition Against Human Trafficking
      Topics of Discussion Practical implications of requiring local law
      enforcement agencies to enforce civil immigration laws. Racial profiling. Maintaining
      positive relationships with the immigrant community. And more…
      Legal Professionals
      Audience Lawyers and others who provide legal services to immigrants, in both
      immigration law and other areas.
      Speakers Ann Chandler, University of Houston; Lillian Care; Mike Skadden,
      American Civil Liberties Union
      Topics of Discussion Provisions of legislation and existing laws of which
      legal professionals should be aware. The effect on clients of a requirement that
      local police enforce immigration laws. And more…
      Service Providers
      Audience Those who provide social services to immigrants, including
      resettlement agencies; schools; advocacy groups; ethnic, cultural, and religious
      groups; and others.
      Speakers Bishr Tabaa, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Lynn
      Tramonte, National Immigration Forum; Nina Perales, MALDEF; Adriana Cadena, Service
      Employees International Union; Maria Jimenez, National Network for Immigrant
      and Refugee Rights
      Topics of Discussion How to inform and organize immigrants to address the
      issue of local police enforcement of immigration laws. Information immigrants
      need to know when dealing with police. What police may and may not do with
      respect to immigration status. And more…
      3:30-4:00 Closing City of Houston Councilman Adrian Garcia

      6:30-8:30 Public Forum: “Know Your Rights” A free public forum for
      an immigrant audience on what to do and what not to do when confronted with
      police.
      For more information, contact Emily Patterson at (281) 468-9136 or
      ACLUatSTCL@....




      6) Recent News Clips

      (1) EL PASO TIMES (Editorial)
      Unfunded mandates SCAAP money must be increased
      Wednesday, June 23, 2004
      Again, the federal government demonstrates to the border region that it
      allocates more lip service than funds when dealing with illegal-immigration
      problems.
      El Paso County received notification that it will receive only $218,179 from
      the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. The program helps counties offset
      the expenses of incarcerating undocumented immigrants.
      Reducing SCAAP funding forces the costs of the government's failed
      immigration efforts on taxpayers in border cities. That is unjust.
      Border communities are the least economically situated to bear larger tax
      burdens. El Paso's proximity to Juárez makes it a primary portal for illegal
      immigration and drug smuggling.
      Collectively, those problems cost El Pasoans millions of dollars annually,
      money that could be used to better the quality of life for citizens.
      "I think it's outrageous that a president who comes from a border state and
      was formerly supportive of SCAAP tries to zero it out ...," said Democratic
      U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who has fought for funds for El Paso for years.
      The Bush administration has cut SCAAP funding for two years now. In fact, top
      administration officials have sought to eliminate the program. That would be
      a mistake -- and force a greater burden on El Pasoans.
      In under two years, El Paso's SCAAP funding has been slashed from $772,241
      allocated in 2002 to $217,050 last year and the $218,179 recently announced. At
      one time, El Paso received up to $1.1 million in SCAAP funds to relieve the
      local tax burden.
      The federal government must pay its share of the costs of jailing
      undocumented immigrants who are arrested by city police (in connection with crimes other
      than illegal immigration).
      Reyes says SCAAP and other programs that helped border communities are being
      chopped to pay for tax cuts and the war in Iraq.
      Inadequate funding of border-protection agencies over the years has made the
      nation's borders porous. It's not fair to penalize people simply because they
      live in a border community, but that's the end result when the federal
      government shirks its responsibilities.
      Sheriff's Department officials were unable Tuesday to provide a current
      estimate of the immigrant jailing costs.
      But it was estimated in previous years -- when SCAAP funding was
      significantly higher -- that the federal dollars covered 40 percent of the costs.
      Clearly, the percentage has dropped. SCAAP is not an entitlement program; it
      is a responsibility of the federal government.
      The Bush administration must increase SCAAP funding.
      (2) SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
      Undocumented workers face increasing scrutiny
      www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-cillegaljun27,0,3095694,print
      .story?coll=sfla-home-headlines
      By Patty Pensa
      Staff Writer
      June 27, 2004

      If it weren't for the accident, the 11 farmworkers from West Palm Beach would
      be picking blueberries in New Jersey by now.

      Instead, two lie in a funeral home waiting to be shipped to their native
      Guatemala. The surviving nine might have to follow, depending on what an
      immigration judge has to say.

      In what immigrant advocates call a frightening departure from the norm,
      Florida Highway Patrol troopers called agents from the Bureau of Immigration and
      Customs Enforcement to the bloody scene of the June 8 rollover on Interstate 95
      in Martin County.

      The move comes as cooperation between local law enforcement and federal
      immigration officials is reaching new levels. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001,
      terrorist attacks, Florida became the first state to train select police officers
      to enforce immigration law. Alabama followed, and other states are
      considering the same.

      Similar agreements could spring up across the nation if Congress passes the
      Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act. The legislation, with
      support from more than 100 members in Congress, would allow state and local
      officers to investigate and deport undocumented immigrants.

      While intended to weed out terrorists, some say the bill would instead foster
      fear among immigrants and lead to racial profiling. Local immigrant activists
      say the same will happen here as word spreads of how troopers handled the
      recent rollover on I-95. They say accident victims will flee crash scenes and
      won't report crimes or cooperate with police on investigations.

      "This sets back dramatically the efforts so many local police officers have
      made to try to overcome the fears in the alien community," said Greg Schell,
      managing attorney at the Lake Worth-based Migrant Farmworker Justice Project,
      which offers legal services to farmworkers.

      "I'm hoping it's an isolated incident."

      Immigration officials were brought in because the men, all Guatemalan except
      one Mexican, did not have Florida identification, said Lt. Tim Frith, highway
      patrol spokesman. The Mexican man had a consular ID, a form of identification
      Mexican consulates have encouraged its citizens to get since Sept. 11.

      The men spoke only Spanish, which Frith said added to the "reasonable doubt"
      they were not U.S. citizens.

      "If you're in law enforcement, that should raise a few eyebrows that you're
      dealing with illegal aliens," Frith said.

      Law enforcement officials throughout South Florida say officers typically do
      not call immigration investigators unless dealing with a criminal suspect. But
      they said officers use their discretion: They would call immigration if they
      found false IDs or had trouble identifying victims.

      Nelson Cruz, 18, said it's not fair. He committed no crime. He only was
      following the crops northward as thousands of migrants in search of a better life
      have done before him.

      "All we can do is wait, nothing more," said Cruz, back in the West Palm Beach
      house he shares with at least five others, after a week in the hospital.

      Immigration officials said the men have been sent court notices, but Cruz and
      others said they haven't received them.

      "We don't know yet," said Serepio Perez, 19. "We're scared that perhaps we'll
      have to go to court."

      Or jail, added Cruz.

      In Lake Worth, a city with a large Mexican and Guatemalan immigrant
      population, police don't want to deter immigrants from reporting crime, said Lt. Ken
      White. Officers taking reports don't ask their immigration status, he said.

      "We try not to make it a two-prong investigation," White said.

      Police in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach have been meeting with the
      Guatemalan community to offer crime prevention tips and information on immigration,
      banking and insurance. The idea is to quell any fears of police, said Assistant
      Chief Guillermo Perez of the West Palm Beach Police Department. He is no
      relation to Serepio, one of the farmworkers in the accident.

      West Palm Beach police do not do background checks on routine traffic stops.
      But in situations similar to the recent rollover, Perez said officers would
      check with immigration officials to identify the victims.

      If a victim's immigration status were pertinent to the case, deputies with
      the Broward County Sheriff's Office would do the same, said spokeswoman Veda
      Coleman-Wright.

      Aron Santizo Velazquez, 25, the driver of the Ford Aerostar headed for New
      Jersey earlier this month, died at the scene. Spanish-speaking officers
      interviewed the nine survivors to find out what happened and to determine their
      identities.

      But Frith said it was difficult to get information from the men. Whether the
      men are deported is another matter.

      "If that were the case, I'm sorry that would have to happen after all they've
      been through," Frith said.

      Miami attorney John de Leon, who's been speaking with the men, said the
      highway patrol's decision to call immigration was misdirected.

      "This in no way furthers the government's goals in preventing terrorism," said
      de Leon. "This in fact probably makes the situation worse."

      It's not uncommon for immigration agents and local law enforcement to work
      together, said John Woods, assistant special agent with the Bureau of
      Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

      Immigration agents aren't interested in targeting immigrants working in the
      United States unless they are criminals, Woods said. He disputed the idea
      immigrants will become afraid of police because of the recent rollover.

      Angelina Castro, supervising attorney at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy
      Center office in Fort Pierce, had another view.

      "I can't in good conscience go out to these communities and say, `Don't be
      afraid of the police,' because I don't know," she said.

      Patty Pensa can be reached at ppensa@... or 561-243-6609.
      Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
      (3) Richmond Times Dispatch
      Law on felons worries immigrants
      It allows 72-hour period of detention without warrant; some see
      racial-profiling risk
      BY JUAN ANTONIO LIZAMA
      TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
      Wednesday, June 30, 2004

      A new law that authorizes local and state police to arrest and detain
      illegal-immigrant felons for up to 72 hours without a warrant has struck fear into
      Virginia's immigrant communities.
      Some observers say the new law has the potential to strip immigrants of their
      constitutional rights and lead to racial profiling.
      "The community is very concerned," said Maribel Ramos, Gov. Mark R. Warner's
      liaison to the state's Latino communities. "A lot has to do with the
      interpretation of the bill."

      Ramos said about 140 people showed up Monday at an Arlington forum on law
      enforcement. The event was sponsored by the Virginia Latino Advisory Commission.
      Many Hispanics in the audience worried that they might be questioned about
      their immigration status if they happened to be stopped for a traffic violation,
      she said.
      If police interpret the law too broadly, it can lead to unintended uses,
      Ramos said.

      "We're not responsible, and we can't direct what every police officer does in
      the state," she said.

      Authorities say law-abiding immigrants have no reason to worry because the
      new law does little more than reinforce existing police powers.

      "It's not going to change the way we do things," Chesterfield County police
      Chief Carl L. Baker said. He said he was aware that many illegal immigrants
      reside in Chesterfield. "We're not going to do any mass roundups or anything like
      that," he said.

      The law, sponsored by Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, will go into effect
      tomorrow. It grants the power to law-enforcement officers "acting upon reasonable
      suspicion that an individual has committed or is committing a crime" to arrest
      the person without a warrant.

      Police would have the authority to detain an immigrant upon receiving
      confirmation from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that he or she is
      in the United States illegally, was previously convicted of a felony and
      deported, and is back in the country.

      A suspect could be detained up to 72 hours before being released or turned
      over to federal authorities.

      For some police departments, the law's impact will be minimal.

      Detective John Ritter, a spokesman for the Arlington County Police
      Department, said that under current regulations, Arlington officers performing a routine
      traffic stop may contact immigration officials to obtain a detainer if they
      find that the suspect has been convicted of a felony and has been deported.
      Ritter said he could not speak for other police departments.

      "We've always been able to enforce immigration laws by state and federal
      law," he said. "There's no [new] grant of power for police officers."

      The main difference is that police officers currently have only 10 minutes to
      request the detainer. The new law extends the detention window to 72 hours.
      Ritter said there has been a great deal of confusion over the new law
      "If it does anything - and I argue that it doesn't - it streamlines a process
      that already exists," he said.

      State Police Superintendent W. Steve Flaherty agrees the only significant
      change in the new law is establishing the 72-hour limit.

      "Quite frankly, I don't know that House Bill 570 is going to change the way
      law enforcement in Virginia deals with immigration laws," he said.

      State police have also been working since last year with the U.S. Department
      of Homeland Security on an agreement to have 30 troopers trained specifically
      in the enforcement of immigration laws, Flaherty said.

      The agreement would provide an additional tool to fight terrorism, drug
      trafficking and gang activities, Flaherty said.

      "We, as an agency, began to believe that if we had the authority . . . to
      enforce some of the immigration laws, we may be able to use that in some of our
      significant cases," he said.

      "If we had the ability to [arrest an illegal immigrant], we might prevent an
      act of violence or the escalation of violence," he said.

      If the agreement is reached, the 30 troopers would be assigned to 24 drug
      task forces in Virginia, Flaherty said.

      In Congress, U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., has introduced the Clear Law
      Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act, which deputizes local and state
      police to enforce immigration laws. The House bill has 122 co-sponsors.

      Most local police departments that deal with immigrants less frequently than
      Arlington's will have to develop a set of procedures.

      Henrico police Capt. Steve Alloway said Chief Henry W. Stanley has reviewed
      the law with his staff.

      "They will meet again and develop a policy based on that code," he said.
      Henrico police do not have a policy governing contact with immigration
      officials in cases involving illegal immigrants who have been arrested, Alloway said.

      Nearly two years ago, when two illegal immigrants - one from Mexico and the
      other from Guatemala - were arrested in Henrico in a hunt for serial snipers,
      they were turned over to immigration officials. They were eventually allowed to
      return to their native countries voluntarily instead of being deported.

      Richmond police spokeswoman Christie Collins said the city's police officers
      "very rarely" call immigration officials about illegal-immigrant felons.

      "Our focus is primarily building positive relationships with the community,"
      she said.

      Walter Tejada, a member of the Arlington Board of Supervisors, said he has
      trouble with the legislation's language regarding "reasonable suspicion" and the
      potential for racial profiling.

      It is upsetting that the law was passed without involving immigrant
      communities, Tejada said. The only thing left to do now is educate immigrants, he said.

      Immigration lawyer Pablo F. Fantl said calls have poured in to his program on
      Spanish-language radio station Selecta 1320 AM in Richmond.

      Many illegal immigrants will be caught in this law, not for a violent crime,
      but for such things as forging a signature, he said.

      Tejada urged the community to keep calm. "If you are living a sound life, you
      don't have to worry," he said.

      He urged immigrants to cooperate with the police and to file a complaint if
      they feel they are victims of racial profiling.

      "The police duty is to protect all citizens," he said, "including immigrants."

      Contact Juan Antonio Lizama at (804) 524-9724
      This story can be found at:
      http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_
      BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031776321132&path=%21news&s=1045855934842


      (4) Daily News-Record
      NEW LAW CONCERNS POLICE
      Some Immigrants Can Be Held For Up To Three Days
      June 30, 2004
      By Will Morris

      Police officers across Virginia are concerned, officials said Tuesday, about
      a new state law that gives local police the power to hold certain illegal
      immigrants with serious criminal histories for up to three days.

      The law, which takes effect July 1, allows officers to hold previously
      deported illegal immigrants who have felony convictions. During that time, federal
      immigration officials will be notified about the arrest, giving them time to
      start a deportation process.

      "It's troubling philosophically to talk about the ramifications of this law
      and its impact," said Dana Schrad, executive director of theVirginia
      Association of Chiefs of Police.

      Schrad said the law is a "good tool" but that police officers across the
      state are concerned that the law will cause law-abiding immigrants to avoid
      police. This will create a chokehold on information from immigrant communities and
      lead to more unsolved crimes and victimized residents, she said.

      "We have a big concern about the non-English-speaking community. These folks
      are very fearful about this. There's a real concern among that community of
      residents that this means police are going to sweep though neighborhoods and
      pick up anyone with immigration violations and deport them; that simply isn't
      true," she said. "We are concerned we'll lose cooperation of law-abiding
      residents who have helped solve crimes."

      In The Valley

      Locally, law enforcement officials say they aren't concerned about the law,
      but see how it could cause problems.

      "I think that fear is already there and I think we're slowly overcoming
      that," said Rockingham County Sheriff Don Farley. "Most of them now know we are
      here to protect them, not take advantage of them."

      Schrad said the fear comes from confusion by immigrants about the law, or
      from people who grew up in countries where police violation of civil and human
      rights is common.

      "A lot of the immigrants think if they do something by mistake and an officer
      stops them for, say, a light being out, that's a crime for which they can be
      deported," she said, adding that the new law
      affects only a "very small segment" of the immigrant population.

      Police are able to hold someone under this statue only if two conditions are
      met: The immigrant must have a felony record and must be in the country
      illegally after being deported.

      "It applies to people none of us want as our neighbors," Schrad said.

      These conditions are evaluated only after someone is arrested or questioned
      for a crime. An immigration violation - such as an expired entry visa - is
      considered an administrative, rather than a criminal, offense, Schrad said.

      The Law
      Chapter 360, as the law is known, was sponsored by Del. David Albo,
      R-Fairfax. It was one of a large number of immigration-related bills crafted after the
      terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

      Albo said he wrote the bill after he became aware of officers who had repeat
      encounters with felons who are in the country illegally.

      He agreed that the law is somewhat misunderstood by the public.

      "If you read the bill, it only applies to people who have been convicted of
      felonies, have been deported and returned to the United States," he said. "But
      99 percent of the immigrants here in the U.S. are here because they're
      protected from crime."

      Farley said that his deputies don't go into the county to enforce immigration
      violations. He said they have to have a sense of priorities when enforcing
      the law.
      "We're looking for people endangering public safety," he said "[But] if we
      start questioning someone and we find out he's illegal, our hands are tied. We
      will go through proper channels."

      Harrisonburg Police Chief Don Harper said the new law won't change the number
      of arrests his officers make, or how they do their job.

      "Very few immigrants met the standards in the law," Harper said. "I think the
      people that may give us info may be illegal, but don't fall into the category
      [of the law]."

      (5) Richmond Times-Dispatch
      AUTHORITIES EXPLAIN IMMIGRANT-FELON LAW
      June 30, 2004
      Trooper: Hispanics like that 'bad apples' may face deportation
      By Juan Antonio Lizama
      Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

      Education. Education. Education.

      That is the key to abating fears in the Hispanic community about a new law
      that authorizes police to arrest illegal immigrant felons, agreed a gathering at
      a meeting yesterday in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce offices in
      Chesterfield County.

      The group of more than 50 people included members of the Hispanic community
      as well as federal, state and local law enforcement representatives. Col.
      Steven Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, attended the session,
      as did Col. H.W. Stanley Jr., chief of Henrico County police, and Col. Carl
      L. Baker, chief of Chesterfield police.

      A law that went into effect last week allows any law enforcement officer to
      arrest illegal immigrants if acting on reasonable suspicion that an individual
      has committed or is committing a crime.

      The immigrants can be arrested if it is confirmed through the Bureau of
      Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they have previously been convicted of a
      felony in the United States and have been deported and are back in the country
      illegally after the conviction.

      Police can hold individuals for 72 hours to be picked up by federal
      authorities.

      Despite a campaign of education by law enforcement departments that a new law
      won't lead to racial profiling or raids because the measure is very
      restrictive, the Hispanic community is still afraid.

      “I really don't see a change in anything we do," Baker said.

      Even before this law, police were already dealing with a fear from the
      Hispanic community that stems from a distrust of law enforcement.

      Marilyn Breslow, executive director of refugee and immigration services for
      the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, said before the law was implemented, three
      youngsters were taken into custody by Richmond police for truancy and were
      almost deported.

      "Officers don't really understand what their responsibilities are," she said.

      Baker rebutted: "I have to disagree with you. Our officers know what their
      responsibilities are. In that case, it has to be an anomaly."

      A Richmond police representative said the department is "specifically going
      to issue a training bulletin to all our officers so that they understand how
      this law is to be implemented and interpreted, so that we can be consistent."

      The distrust of police and the fear of being caught by immigration officials
      is such that Virginia State Police Trooper George Crespo, in a campaign to
      educate Hispanics about the law, has scheduled a meeting with a group of
      Hispanics in South Richmond. A couple of people have asked him: "Do you think it's a
      trap?"


      But when he explains to Hispanics how the law works, they think, "that's
      great!" Crespo said. "We can get rid of the bad apples."

      The solution to ending misinformation about the law is education, Flaherty
      said.

      "The more people we can talk to, the more we can get the message out," he
      said.

      Marla Graff Decker, senior assistant attorney general, said the education
      aspect is key.

      "This law is only intended to get to the worst, to the worst, to the worst,"
      she said. "We want to end the chilling effect."

      Hector Vazquez, a local resident, said he thought Hispanic leaders "don't
      speak to Hispanics loud enough."

      "I think we need to do something and explain this law to the community."

      The group agreed to work together to develop an education campaign that
      includes, among other facets, going to churches and possibly setting up a hot line.


      (6) Fairfax Connection
      June 30, 2004
      IMMIGRANTS WORRY ABOUT NEW LAW
      Police say law's scope is very narrow, intended to help with gang enforcement.
      By David Harrison

      Most mornings, Edgar Rivera sees about 100 day laborers standing around by
      the 7-Eleven at Bailey's Crossroads waiting for work. On Thursday, July 1, he
      hardly saw anybody. Many immigrants are afraid that a new state law will make
      them more likely to be deported, Rivera said, a fear that led many of Bailey's
      Crossroads' day laborers to give up on a day's wages.

      Law enforcement officials say that the vast majority of the area's immigrants
      have nothing to fear from the new law, regardless of their status. But
      Rivera, an organizer with the nonprofit Tenant and Workers' Support Committee, is
      worried it will lead officers to racial and ethnic profiling.

      The new state law, one of dozens that took effect July 1, only applies to
      illegal immigrants who have previously been convicted of a felony in the United
      States and who have been deported. If such a person returns to the United
      States and if local police officers in Virginia suspect that he or she is taking
      part in a crime, officers now have the right to detain that person for up to 72
      hours while they notify federal agents.

      "We were running into previously convicted felons who were deported
      previously and we were running into them as a result of gang investigations," said Sgt.
      Richard Perez, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Police Department who works
      in the county's immigrant communities. "It really targets a very small
      [number] of the people amongst our community. This is usually the hardened criminals
      that we don't want in our community."

      In the past, police could not notify immigration officials if they came
      across undocumented immigrants. Nor could they detain people without reason to
      believe they had committed a crime. Now police officers are allowed to detain
      previously deported convicted felons whether or not they actually broke the law.
      That has Rivera worried that local officers will stop Hispanic-looking people
      at higher rates in order to check whether or not they fit the criteria for the
      new law to apply.

      "In order for them to start implementing the law they're going to start doing
      profiling," he said.

      He said he could imagine a situation where police officers would randomly
      pull over landscaper trucks which carry many Hispanic workers to work sites to
      see if one of the workers is a previously deported convicted felon.

      Del. David Albo (R-42), who wrote the bill, said the concern surrounding the
      law is based on unfounded rumors.

      "I bet you interview 100 immigrants, whether they're legal of illegal, and I
      bet you 99.99 percent of them would say they do not want convicted felons
      who've been deported living in their neighborhood," he said. He wrote the bill, he
      said, to address "the fact that police officers could be standing on a street
      looking at a guy busted for cutting somebody's hands off; know he got
      convicted; know he served time; know he got deported and now he's back in the
      neighborhood and they can't do anything about it."

      WHATEVER ITS intended impact, the law has spread panic among immigrants.

      "I had a woman crying in my office who was a victim of domestic violence but
      who was afraid to call 911 for fear that she and her daughter would be
      deported," said Tim Freilich, managing attorney with the nonprofit Virginia Justice
      Center.

      Another mother, he added, wouldn't take her American-born child to a free
      clinic because she was afraid of being deported.

      Even before the law went into effect, Freilich said, it was difficult to
      convince undocumented immigrants that local police officers and government
      agencies would deport them. The law has undone the Police Department's work to gain
      the trust of the immigrant community.

      "The fear that this law has created has erased years of hard work by the
      region's police departments," he said. "It's a very limited narrow law that has
      created a lot more fear in the immigrant community than it deserves."

      Rivera said he'd heard similar stories from the day laborers.

      "There was one guy who's a member of our organization, he said, 'Look,
      tomorrow I'm not going to work because I don't want to get caught by the
      immigration."

      Perez, the police spokesman, stressed that the Fairfax County Police
      Department does not check people's immigration status. Only federal immigration agents
      are legally authorized to do that.

      Freilich said local police officers should launch a public information
      campaign to let people know that the new law only applies to a relatively small
      number of people.

      "The problem has been that there has been very little effort by Virginia
      governments to educate the community and so rumors have run rampant based on
      misinformation and fear," he said.

      LAST WEEK police departments in Fairfax County, Arlington County and the City
      of Alexandria issued statements saying the new law would not affect their
      community policing efforts, something Freilich saw as a hopeful sign.

      "We have inroads with our community," said Perez, pointing to instances when
      local residents had tipped him off to known criminals living in the
      neighborhood. "Officers will not randomly inquire about a person's immigration status."

      Still, Rivera and Freilich say they will be monitoring the situation to make
      sure the police officers do not overstep bounds.

      "If [profiling] does become an issue we're going to respond to it," said
      Rivera. "We're going to keep an eye on what's going on."

      Freilich said: "The law does not give police power to round up undocumented
      workers in Northern Virginia and the Virginia Justice Center will be working
      with the ACLU and with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to
      monitor the implementation of the law."

      (7) San Francisco Chronicle
      Police Chiefs Thumb Nose At Illegal-Immigration Laws
      Jennifer Nelson, Special to SF Gate
      Tuesday, July 6, 2004
      What's up with California police chiefs? Not long after I submitted my last
      column, in which I criticized Sacramento's police chief for excusing illegal
      immigration (by blaming Americans for creating such an attractive magnet), I
      turned the radio on to hear San Jose's chief of police denying that his
      department is participating on raids on illegal immigrants.
      I'm not kidding.
      "We really and truly want the community to know that we're not acting as
      agents for the immigration service," The San Jose Mercury News reported San Jose
      Chief of Police Rob Davis as saying, in Spanish and English, at a June 18 news
      conference.
      "That's not something we do," he said. "We're not interested in participating
      in any raids, nor have we been doing so."
      Now, I'm sure I'll hear from police administrators telling me how local
      law-enforcement agencies don't have the time, the resources or the authority to
      conduct immigration raids. That's all fine and good, but why on earth does the
      police chief, the highest-ranking law-enforcement official in the city, have to
      call a press conference to reassure illegal immigrants they are safe in San
      Jose? Currying favor with the city's politicians, perhaps?
      It's not that I believe all people who come here illegally are criminals.
      Many are not, though we've got a good number of them sitting in our jails and
      prisons. But the folks who come here illegally are not stupid. They know they
      broke a law to get here, and they know they are staying here illegally. Why are
      our top cops publicly excusing their behavior?
      San Jose city officials felt compelled to respond to rumors circulating in
      the immigrant community about possible raids by immigration officials. Such
      raids have been going on in Southern California amid complaints by immigrant civil
      rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers.
      Apparently, San Jose's Spanish-language media were reporting possible raids
      at malls, at day laborers' gathering points and at local grocery stores.
      In early June, sweeps by U.S. Border Patrol agents resulted in more than 400
      arrests in Southern California, mainly in the Inland Empire and San Diego.
      Arrests were made outside grocery stores and at apartment buildings and bus
      stops. Most of the people arrested were from Mexico, although some hail from other
      Latin American countries.
      State Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh (D-South Gate) says racial profiling is
      driving the arrests and has complained, along with other immigrant rights
      advocates, that border agents are arresting only illegal immigrants who are Latino.
      Earth to Firebaugh: Southern California shares a border with Mexico. It
      shouldn't be a major surprise to you that the majority of illegal immigrants
      arrested in the sweeps are Latinos. Southern California just doesn't have a huge
      number of Canadian or Polish illegal immigrants.
      People are also complaining that the arrests are being made in the interior
      of the state. Until last August, border agents had been restricted to making
      arrests only near the border or at highway checkpoints. But that four-year-old
      policy was lifted, and agents are now reaching into communities well inside
      California to apprehend and deport illegal immigrants.
      Immigrant rights advocates complain that the sweeps are making people living
      in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods nervous.
      You know, if you are here legally, you have nothing to fear. But the young
      pregnant woman in Riverside County whose husband and brothers-in-law were just
      caught and deported does. It's sad she is now left in the United States alone
      and illegal, but she and her husband knowingly broke the laws of our nation and
      should be sent back to their homeland.
      Has she turned herself in so she can be reunited with her husband in Mexico?
      No.
      "I'm just here waiting, hoping that my husband comes back," she told an
      Associated Press reporter.
      I'm sure she would like her child to be born here and have the opportunities
      that come with U.S. citizenship. But millions of people around the world are
      waiting for permission from the United States to legally enter our country --
      and she should return home and join those ranks.
      Last week, working on a tip, Los Angeles police officers broke into a hotel
      room and freed 28 illegal immigrants who had been held hostage by smugglers. A
      fellow illegal immigrant had paid the smugglers off and told the police about
      the other folks, who were still being held against their will.
      Of course, these people -- 25 men, two women and one child -- were
      subsequently held by federal authorities, and arrangements were made to send them back
      to Mexico. In the interim, the police fed them, because the smugglers had held
      them for several days without any food.
      Despite the fact that the police were helping these people, they were faced
      with a crowd of angry onlookers, who, according to newspaper reports, held
      large Mexican flags and chanted, "Let them go!" The crowd tried to block the
      street as vans arrived to take the immigrants away, and someone threw a rock at the
      police.
      An attorney who works with the Mexican consulate complained about the Los
      Angeles Police Department cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
      Sorry, but the local police should be working with the Feds when they have
      the time and resources, particularly when it comes to catching illegal-immigrant
      smugglers. Those folks -- the smugglers -- are a criminal element
      contributing to the city's crime rate, and the police should be involved with catching
      and arresting them. And, if illegal immigrants are apprehended as well, they
      should be deported.
      Last week, the media covered the plight of a Filipino family living in
      Fremont that was deported after residing illegally in the United States for 20
      years. The parents kept the family secret from their now-adult children, who are,
      with their parents, moving back to a country they left as small children.
      Though friends, immigration rights advocates and some members of the media are
      screaming about the injustice of deporting what some are calling an "all American"
      family, the bottom line is that the parents knew all these years they were
      residing in the United States illegally. They let their one-year visitor visas
      expire in 1985 and never took steps to fix their legal status until 1996,
      despite a law change in 1992 that opened a window for achieving legal residency.
      It's a sad story, but why should the government deport a farm worker who is
      picking artichokes and has been here illegally for six months, and look the
      other way on behalf of the Cuevas family simply because they have been here, also
      illegally, for far longer?
      As a nation, we have often ignored the tough issues around illegal
      immigration and homeland security. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, changed all
      that. The U.S. Border Patrol and immigration authorities are stepping up their
      efforts to find illegal immigrants and deport them.
      For national-security reasons, as well for protecting the safety and rights
      of people, we need to know who is living within our borders. No doubt there are
      many, many sad stories of illegal immigrants living here with high hopes of
      achieving the American dream for themselves and their families. But the time
      has come in our nation's history when we can no longer look the other way when
      it comes to illegal immigration.
      But it would sure be nice if the police chiefs around the state felt the same
      way!
      Jennifer Nelson, an Oakland writer, worked in policymaking positions in the
      Deukmejian and Wilson administrations. She can be reached at
      jlnelson1990@....
      (8) Durango Herald
      July 7, 2004
      Council adopts immigrant policy
      By Lindsay Nelson
      Herald Staff Writer
      The city of Durango re-affirmed it won't use city resources to identify or
      turn over illegal immigrants to federal officials unless they commit crimes,
      under a resolution passed Tuesday.
      The City Council unanimously passed a resolution affirming all residents,
      regardless of immigration status, will be treated equally, fairly and with
      respect. The resolution does not allow the city to override state or federal
      immigration laws, but does support the Durango Police Department's practice of not
      reporting undocumented immigrants to immigration authorities unless they have
      been arrested for a crime.
      Thirty or so Hispanic men, women and children, and several supporters, filled
      City Council Chambers to back the resolution and broke into cheers and
      applause when it passed. Olivia Donaji-Lopez, program director of Los Compañeros,
      proposed the resolution and thanked the council for "taking a broader look at
      immigration and at our community. We are very grateful."
      Donaji-Lopez and other immigrant advocates had said that many people, both
      legal and illegal immigrants, are reluctant to call police or take advantage of
      other government services for fear of being deported. Under this resolution,
      city resources and employees are explicitly prevented from being used to seek
      out, report or deport undocumented residents.
      One Mancos woman denounced the resolution as encouraging lawbreaking,
      indicating that certain people are above the law. "These people are here illegally,
      they come here and work at lower wages, driving wages down and use a large
      percentage of social services," Peggy Maloney said. She said a large number of
      immigrants will now want to come to Durango. The crowd was silent while she sat
      down and her companion clapped briefly. They left shortly after.
      Councilor Sidny Zink said she hesitated to support the resolution because "it
      doesn't really change anything, and because of possible inferences that will
      be made if it's adopted."
      But Zink eventually sided with supporters, saying the resolution expressed
      genuine concern for human rights.
      Zadik Lopez, a Farmington high school teacher who came to the United States
      from Honduras in 1980, said the resolution will create much-needed unity
      between local police and the immigrant community.
      "A lot of us feel afraid of being confronted by the police, even just going
      outside, whether we are illegal or not."
      This resolution is about respecting everyone, citizen and non-citizen alike,
      he said.
      Mayor Joe Colgan called it "an affirmation of the policy we have now," and
      said the city is not trying to get in the way of enforcement of immigration law.
      Local law-enforcement officers are not required to seek out or report
      suspected illegal immigrants unless they are arrested for commission of a crime.
      Entering the United States without proper documentation is a civil, not criminal,
      offense.
      Sgt. Tony Archuleta, with the Durango Police Department, said the only time
      city police officers contact the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
      (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) is when they arrest
      someone who doesn't have immigrant documentation. Otherwise, police don't ask for
      papers and will not report suspected illegal immigrants unless they've
      committed a crime.
      "The only time we're concerned is if we arrested them," he said. Archuleta
      serves as a police interpreter for Spanish-speaking people, and said no one
      should be afraid to report a crime. "We try to show we are here to help, no matter
      where they're from or if they've been a victim of a crime; we provide the
      best police service we can to everyone," he said.
      (9) SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
      Many migrant workers die unclaimed by families in Palm Beach County
      By Tal Abbady
      Wednesday, July 7, 2004
      The trailer on the dirt road where Leon Toledo died alone held few clues
      about his life. Inside his room were a year-old prescription and the science books
      he liked to read, recalled his neighbors in a western Delray Beach camp for
      field workers where mangy dogs run loose and the breeze is laced with flies.

      When nobody claimed his 61-year-old body after his April death -- heart
      disease and emphysema were among the causes -- Toledo joined the company of men
      such as Jose Chico, Jose Antonio, Enrique Juarez and others around Palm Beach
      County killed in wrecks, hit by cars or overcome by illness.

      They are men the authorities suspect were here illegally, who appear to have
      worked as day laborers and likely roamed from job to job. In death, the
      anonymity of such men stumps police, and their bodies lie in coolers while
      investigators begin the exasperating search for relatives. It's a search that's
      confounded by the routine use of false identification among undocumented immigrants,
      by names and addresses that change like shifting sands and by relatives or
      co-workers too afraid of authorities to step forward and claim their dead.

      About once every six weeks, according to investigator Doug Jenkins, the Palm
      Beach County Medical Examiner's Office receives the body of a suspected
      immigrant with no identifying records or apparent family. They are kept, sometimes
      for months, while police scan neighborhoods, contact foreign consulates, run
      fingerprint and criminal checks to find someone, anyone, who will claim the body
      for burial.

      Occasionally, co-workers, employers or neighbors will put a name to the dead
      or an identification card will be found, but no family will step forward to
      take possession of the corpse.

      "It happens more often than we'd like it to," said Tony Mead, director of
      operations for the Medical Examiner's Office. "If we could only tell these people
      that they're not going to be arrested or deported, that they do not have to
      be afraid of the police, that would help us find out who this deceased person
      is," he said.

      In the search for family of the unidentified dead, investigators must
      sometimes rely on post-mortem photographs, Mead said.

      Community members, migrants typically from Mexico or Guatemala, visit local
      farms and nurseries with the images to find someone who may recognize the
      lifeless face and raise money for the body's transport back home.

      "They come around with cans that have pictures of these people, sometimes
      dead, looking for donations for a burial or for someone who might have known
      them," said Michael O'Bryant, who owns Geronimo Farms in western Delray Beach.

      "They don't want to be known. It's such a hard road to get over here that
      once they're here, they feel they've got to disappear. Everything they carry on
      them is fake. It's a real tough life," he said.

      Debora Toral, 44, of Veracruz, Mexico, has worked in O'Bryant's nursery for
      several years and has been approached by small groups of laborers holding out
      donation cans bearing the haunting photographs. She can attest to the
      community's fear of La Migra, or immigration authorities.

      "The people who sometimes come around asking for someone to identify a dead
      person are the same ones who may report you to the authorities," said Toral of
      police involvement in the identification process. She said the search for
      answers enters into local stores frequented by laborers, such as the Peanut
      Country store on West Atlantic Avenue, where owners allow the posting of morgue
      photos of the unclaimed or of those needing funds for burial.

      In the small, cramped West Palm Beach building that was home to two farm
      workers killed in a recent accident, residents spoke about duty and fear.

      "Sometimes it's a necessity, when you lose someone who's part of your family,
      to take a risk. But otherwise, why would you expose yourself?" asked Artemio
      Bravos Espinoza, 22, from Guatemala. Days after he moved into the building,
      his roommate died in a rollover crash in Martin County, sending jitters through
      the building when media and police came around.

      Because of the illegal status and wandering lives of many foreign workers in
      the county, advocates say, it is nearly impossible to create a paper trail
      that would aid authorities but protect workers. One compromise was the Mexican ID
      card -- available for Mexican nationals to present as legitimate
      identification to sheriff's deputies. The program has had mixed results and is not widely
      implemented among the roughly 20,000 undocumented workers in the county.

      "The IDs help if, God forbid, someone is involved in an accident or hit on
      the roadway," sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said.

      Some advocates are critical that authorities do not probe deeply enough into
      immigrant communities to find the people they need.

      "These people trim your yard, take care of your children, but when it comes
      to human services, they get lost in the fray," said Marisol Burke, who works
      with Catholic Charities and provides legal services for migrant workers in
      several counties.

      Her agency routinely conducts searches for missing workers sought by family
      members. She said the network of county parishes is an untapped resource for
      investigators looking to identify the dead because many Central and South
      American migrants belong to a local church where religious leaders make
      announcements after Mass asking worshippers to help find a missing person.

      In the case of the unclaimed dead, authorities seek help from foreign
      consulates to track down families abroad. Felicitas Pliego of the Mexican Consulate
      in Miami said the consulate receives two notices daily from authorities,
      community leaders or other consulates across the United States looking for a missing
      person or requesting help in locating relatives in Mexico when an immigrant
      has died.

      When all methods fail, the body is released to a funeral home contracted by
      the county. In Palm Beach County, a handful of funeral homes have contracts for
      indigent burials -- services for those whose families can't afford a funeral
      and for any unclaimed or unidentified dead. Around 300 indigents a year are
      buried -- mostly poor, homeless or elderly.

      Leon Toledo's body was in the morgue two months before it was released to the
      Northwood Funeral Home in West Palm Beach. There, according to owner Ernest
      Gangnon, he was embalmed, dressed and placed in a wood-and-metal coffin with a
      gray cloth cover. He was buried in a county plot in Glenwood Memorial Gardens
      in Riviera Beach.

      There were no prayers, no family or friends to resurrect him in memory. It
      was a simple burial. The grave is unmarked.

      "I think he was from Uruguay," said Noel Natal, 41, of Puerto Rico, a day
      laborer who lives in the same camp as Toledo. "The day before he died, he kept
      coming out of his room and asking, `What day is it?' Then finally he closed the
      door and didn't come out again. He had a daughter he always spoke of, back in
      Uruguay, but he hadn't seen her in years."

      Washington Post
      Law Raises Immigrants' Suspicions
      Va. Arrests Possible Without Warrants
      By David Cho and Tom Jackman
      Washington Post Staff Writers
      Sunday, July 11, 2004; Page C01
      Fairfax County police recently held a Spanish-language child safety seat
      demonstration in Herndon, hoping it would build goodwill between the department
      and the area's burgeoning Latino population.
      Instead, it underscored the mistrust caused by a new state law that allows
      local police to detain some illegal immigrants: No one from the immigrant
      community showed up.
      According to Capt. Mike Vencak of the Reston District station, which planned
      the safety demonstration, some in the Hispanic community "thought it was a
      ploy" to snare the undocumented. Elsewhere in Virginia, the law has prompted
      immigrants to hoard food and stay indoors, police and community leaders said. One
      Latina in Fairfax, a victim of domestic violence, would not go to the police
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