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LA votes today on keeping a controversial program that deports immigrants




An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, chained for being charged as a criminal, prepares to board a deportation flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on June 24, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.
An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, chained for being charged as a criminal, prepares to board a deportation flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on June 24, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.
John Moore/Getty Images

Los Angeles County supervisors plan to vote today on whether to renew a controversial program that screens for immigrants who could be deported.

It's called 287(g), and how it works is the Sheriff's Department teams up with federal immigration officials. Then local deputies are charged with checking the immigration status of inmates.

People who are here legally but not citizens can be deported, as well as those who've entered the country illegally.

Some localities have dropped the program. LA would be one of only two counties in the state to keep it going if the supervisors vote to renew it.

Plus, immigration advocates say it encourages deportations which separate families. Meanwhile some law enforcement officials don't like it, either, because they say it damages relationships with immigrant communities as well as opens themselves up to lawsuits.

Southern California Public Radio's immigration reporter Leslie Berestein Rojas explains that one of the incentives for LA to use the program has been a small chunk of change that the county can receive eventually.

Read the full story: Why LA County might stick with 287(g), a little-used immigration enforcement program