Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ex-cop Councilman Dennis Zine and the entire L.A. City Council, and Police Chief William Bratton are opposed to turning illegal alien gang members and suspected terrorists over to the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- formerly INS) for deportation -- BEFORE THEY COMMIT THEIR NEXT CRIME!


Q: What is Special Order 40?
A: "Special Order 40"is not a law, but a police mandate that originated in 1979 by former Police Chief Gates and the L.A. City Council to prevent police from randomly inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. The LAPD argues that without Special Order 40, innocent undocumented immigrant witnesses and victims would lose the trust of the LAPD and would not report crimes for fear of being deported. But gang members are not innocent undocumented immigrant witnesses or victims. Click Here to view original Special Order 40.

Q: With Special Order 40 in place, do innocent undocumented immigrant witnesses or victims report crime?
A: No, But not out of fear of the LAPD. They do not report crime out of fear of retaliation by gang members for testifying (even documented immigrants and U.S. citizens are intimidated by gang members).

Q: Can the LAPD enforce immigration law?
A: Yes. Many point to a federal court order which invalidated Proposition 187 on the grounds that local police could not lawfully enforce immigration law. But on October 4, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court  refused to hear an appeal of a landmark decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (USA v VASQUEZ-ALVAREZ), confirming that state and local law enforcement officials are free to arrest criminals solely on the basis of illegally being in the U.S. This ruling finally put to rest any question that local governments have about their authority to join the federal government in the fight against illegal alien criminals.

Q: Even though the LAPD may enforce immigration law, why should the LAPD enforce federal immigration laws if they have higher law enforcement priorities to which to attend?
A: The LAPD does not have to actively enforce immigration law, they just have to turn illegal alien gang members over to the ICE and leave the enforcement to them.

Q: If the LAPD turns gang members over to the ICE, won't they just come back to Los Angeles anyway?
A: Just because the ICE doesn't do their job, doesn't mean that the LAPD shouldn't do theirs. Gang members return to L.A. because they know that the LAPD leadership doesn't care. Instead of passing the blame buck to the ICE, Chief Bratton should publicly lobby the ICE to do their job.

Q. Didn't Chief Bratton and former Mayor Hahn visit federal leaders in seeking help in fighting gang crime.
A. Yes, but they went to Washington to do the only thing they know how to do -- ask for money! They NEVER have asked the ICE to help Los Angeles in its war against gang crime.

Q: Without Special Order 40, wouldn't racist LAPD officers abuse their power and target Hispanics immigrants?
A: The LAPD, with over 40 percent of its officers being minorities, is the most immigrant friendly police department in the country. If police abuse exists, fix the cops, but don't take
away a valuable tool to fight gangs. Chief Bratton could amend Special Order 40 with the stroke of a pen so that it did NOT apply to gang member and terrorist suspects.

Q: In this country, we assume suspects to be innocent until proven guilty. Won't the LAPD
be violating gang members' rights by simply determining their immigration status for turnover to the ICE if they haven't been charged with a crime?

A: If City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo can place injunctions on gang members not  to congregate in certain places, who have not been charged with crimes, he should have no qualms about  turning known illegal alien gang members over to the ICE.

Q: Are most gang members illegal aliens?
A: Yes. Strong evidence points to the probability that most gang members are illegal aliens, A 1997 L.A. Times three part series on the 18th street gang stated that out of the membership estimated to be as high as 20,000, about 60% of them are illegal immigrants, according to a confidential report by the state Department of Justice. Its primary recruitment targets are immigrant youngsters -- and that's just one gang. And according to the L.A. Daily News, Sheriff Baca's own study estimated that 38,748 county inmates (23 percent of the jail population) are illegal aliens who will cost the county an estimated annual jail housing cost of $150 million; and according to a 2003 report by Senator Dianne Feinstein (Combating the Spread of Gang Violence), "membership in the 18th Street gang is estimated to be 30,000 to 50,000 in California with an estimated 80 percent of  the gang's members being illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America." Extrapolating these figures, there is strong reason to believe that out of the 21,882 Hispanic gang members reported on the LAPD's website, there are over 17,000 deportable gang members in Los Angeles alone.

Q: Why weren't all those illegal alien county inmates turned over to the ICE before they had a chance to commit their crimes?
A: Because just like the LAPD, the sheriff's department has the same policy of not determining criminals' immigration status until it is too late.

Q: The LAPD and the Sheriff's Dept tell us that they do in fact turn illegal alien suspect over to the ICE. Is this true?
A: The LAPD and the Sheriff Dept sometimes turn suspects over to the ICE, but only after they have been charged with a crime. This is like buying insurance after the accident.

Q: If the LAPD rounds up illegal alien gang members for turnover to the ICE, wouldn't this be targeting Hispanics?
A: No. It would be targeting illegal alien gang members. The fact that the majority of illegal alien gang members are Hispanic, is linked to the area's demography.

Q: If the LAPD turned illegal alien gang members over to the ICE, wouldn't this create a panic in the Latino community?
A: No. The only ones who would panic, are illegal alien gang members. As a former Van Nuys block captain, I can tell you that the Latino community, legal or illegal, want  illegal alien gang members deported as much as anyone. To assume otherwise, is an insult to law abiding Hispanics.

Q: What could Chief Bratton do to fix the problem?
A: Chief Bratton is the only person empowered to repeal, amend, or modify police orders. He should repeal or modify Special Order 40 so it does not apply to illegal alien gang members.

Q: How much would the repeal or modification of Special Order 40 reduce gang crime?
A: Probably by 50 percent. Los Angeles needs less criminals more than it needs more cops. Violent crime would be reduced significantly overnight.

Q: So why doesn't Chief Bratton take steps to repeal or modify Special Order 40?
A: Chief Bratton showed his lack of leadership when he told me at a town hall meeting in Encino on December 16, 2002, that the city council wanted Special Order 40 and he could work around. Not only does Chief Bratton not show leadership, he doesn't show respect for those who he is supposed to serve. On a Los Angeles talk show, Chief Bratton told a caller regarding Special Order 40: "if you don't like it, leave the state."

Q: Why doesn't ex-cop Councilman Zine use his influence to get the city council to demand that Chief Bratton repeal or modify Special Order 40 so that illegal criminal alien gang members can be removed from our streets.
A: Because Councilman Zine pees in his pants at the thought of an illegal alien mob protesting in front of his office.
KABC Video clip on Special Order 40: Watch