Monday, January 08, 2007

New Haven Mayor Tackles Illegal Immigration Issue With Common Sense

Hat City Blog

Finally, a mayor who looking at the illegal immigration issue with common sense rather than using brass tactics and offering backdoor crackdowns proposals disguised as programs that go after car owners that skip paying property taxes.

New Haven's Mayor John DeStefano received a visit earlier recently from members of Unidad Latina Accion, a grassroots immigrants rights group based in New Haven. Recently, Mayor DeStefano announced that police will have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regards to immigrants who call for assistance. This policy DOES NOT apply to undocumented residents who are being investigated for criminal activity.

For over a year, Unidad Latina en Accion and other immigrants rights groups had pressured Mayor DeStefano to pass a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regards to immigration status. The policy, which was finally unveiled on December 14, 2006, forbids police officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status unless theyĆ¢€™re investigating criminal activity. Now, undocumented residents of New Haven can finally report crimes and cooperate in police investigations without fear that they might be reported to the federal immigration service.

The reason this makes sense is pretty clear. People, regardless of their immigration status, should not be afraid to call in a crime.
Too many times in this area, crimes go unreported for fear of deportation and this does no one any good. Regardless of a person's status, one should not be afraid to call the police if they've been a victim of a crime...period. Unfortunately, due to the tactics of the mayor, many crimes among undocumented residents are going unreported and people live in constant fear of the police.

Unlike Danbury, it seems like New Haven is making the first step in the right direction to let the people in the community know that they don't have live in the shadows for fear of deportation (which can only be done on the federal level).

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