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AG Says Holding Illegal Immigrants Not Mandatory

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Harris has issued a bulletin saying that compliance with the federal government's "Secure Communities" program is voluntary, not mandatory.
The program detains people who are arrested for any crime until their immigration status is checked.
The A-G's office says several local law enforcement agencies treat detainer requests as mandatory orders.  
But Harris says police can decide whether to comply based on their "public-safety priorities" or the best use of their resources.
Legislation that would have set statewide standards in determining when to uphold federal detainer requests was vetoed by the Governor this year.
That bill would have prevented holding arrestees unless the alleged crime or conviction involved a serious or violent felony.
The Governor said the bill was flawed because it omitted many major crimes.
The bill's sponsor is reintroducing it this session.
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