7/15: Police enforcement of immigration laws -- update
- Police enforcement of immigration laws -- update
July 15, 2004
National Immigration Forum
This email update covers the following topics:
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
(6) IMMIGRANTS WORRY ABOUT NEW LAW Fairfax Connection
(7) Police Chiefs Thumb Nose At Illegal-Immigration Laws San Francisco
(8) Council adopts immigrant policy Durango Herald
(9) Many migrant workers die unclaimed by families in Palm Beach County SOUTH
(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
Senior Policy/Communications Associate
National Immigration Forum
50 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
main phone 202.347.0040
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
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
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
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
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
· 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
· 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
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
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…
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…
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
For more information, contact Emily Patterson at (281) 468-9136 or
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
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
By Patty Pensa
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
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
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
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,
If police interpret the law too broadly, it can lead to unintended uses,
"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,"
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:
(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.
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
"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
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
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
"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
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
"The more people we can talk to, the more we can get the message out," he
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
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
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
"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?
"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
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
Jennifer Nelson, an Oakland writer, worked in policymaking positions in the
Deukmejian and Wilson administrations. She can be reached at
(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,
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,
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
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
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
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."
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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