LA County renews program that identifies, reports illegal immigrants in jails

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Los Angeles County will maintain its policy of identifying illegal immigrants in jails and reporting them to immigration officials. County supervisors voted Tuesday to renew the federal program called “ 287(g).”

The auditorium where the supervisors meet is usually pretty empty. But dozens of protestors filled the rows and waited for a chance to urge a no vote on 287(g). They say it amounts to racial profiling and violates civil rights.

Maria Salcedo told the supervisors about a woman with two children who came into her office for help after her husband was arrested for driving without a license – and deported. A county interpreter translated her comments.

"We know that the fathers of the families are driving without a driver's license," said the interpreter. "And that makes them criminals. Those are the criminals being deported by 287(g)."

L.A. County began the partnership with immigration officials four years ago. Supporters of 287(g), including Sheriff Lee Baca, say it keeps criminals off the street. He says it’s deported 20,000 criminal aliens.