Dennis Zine is opposed to turning illegal alien gang members over to the 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 at the request of the L.A. City Council, to prevent police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. The LAPD rightfully argued 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

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

Q: If the LAPD turns gang members over to the INS, won't they just come back to Los Angeles anyway?
A: Just because the INS 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 City Council members like Dennis Zine don't care. Instead of passing the blame buck to the INS, for the sake of public safety, Zine should publicly lobby the INS to do their job.

Q: Without Special Order 40, wouldn't racist LAPD officers abuse their power and target Hispanics immigrants?
A: Fix the cops, but don't take away a valuable tool to fight gangs. Special Order 40 could be amended so that it did NOT to apply to known gang members and other suspects when there is probable cause.

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 INS if they haven't been charged with a crime?
A: If City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo can place injunctions on gang members prohibiting them from congregating 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 INS.

Q: Are most gang members illegal aliens?
A: Yes. Although there is no hard proof that most gang members are illegal aliens, strong evidence supports the allegation. 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: immigrant youngsters -- and that's just one gang. And according to the L.A. Daily News "President's Budget Will Strain California" 04/21/02, 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.

Q: Why weren't all those illegal alien county inmates turned over to the INS 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.

Q: The LAPD and the Sheriff's Dept tell us that they do in fact turn illegal alien suspect over to the INS. Is this true?
A: The LAPD and the Sheriff Dept sometimes turn suspects over to the INS, 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 INS, 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 INS, 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.

Q: Why pick on Councilman Zine, why not hold the feet of all of the council members to the fire?
A: Because Councilman Zine has 33 years of experience as an LAPD cop and should know better.

Q: What could Councilman Zine do to repeal of modify Special Order 40?
A: When Councilman Zine was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, he was empowered to make change on many levels including public safety. Although Councilman Zine cannot single handedly change an LAPD mandate, he could use his influence as an ex-cop to call for council resolutions for the LAPD to repeal or modify Special Order 40.

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

Q: So why doesn't Councilman Zine take steps to repeal or modify Special Order 40?
A: I don't know. Ask him. His phone number is 213-485-3486. His email address is <zine@council.lacity.org>.

Click here if you are interested in attending a town hall meeting at a future date.