Are Deportation Fears Keeping People From Reporting Crimes?

By City News Service

Citing concerns that immigrants in the country illegally may not be reporting crimes as often since President Donald Trump took office, a City Council committee Wednesday voted to have the Los Angeles Police Department prepare a report on the issue.

According to a motion that was submitted by City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and approved by the Public Safety Committee, there have been multiple reports since Trump’s inauguration of immigrants deciding against contacting local law enforcement to report crimes in which they have been the victims or have information about.

Trump has vowed to increase the number of deportations of immigrants in the country and has attempted to use his power to pressure local governments to be more cooperative on immigration issues, but the LAPD has a policy of not routinely asking about the immigration status of individuals with whom its officers come in contact and has reiterated since Trump’s election that the policy will not change.

“Despite this, some immigrants are still concerned that if they talk to the police, they will be deported,” the motion says. “It would benefit the council to understand the scope of this problem in immigrant communities across Los Angeles, and to hear what the LAPD’s strategy is to mitigate it and ensure that victims of crime feel comfortable reporting it.”

If the motion is approved by the full council, the LAPD would be directed to report to the City Council on the number of reported sexual assault and domestic violence crimes in immigrant communities in Los Angeles, and on any issues related to immigrants refusing to report crimes due to fears of deportation, along with information on the department’s strategy for “effectively and compassionately handling these types of cases in immigrant communities.”

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January 24, 2018  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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