Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Deputies may take on duties in immigration

The Orange County Register

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is working on a plan to have some of its deputies enforce the nation's immigration laws under certain circumstances. The goal is to use those laws to help investigate terrorism and to see to it that criminals who are here illegally are deported.

Sheriff's officials are exploring becoming just the third locality in the nation to sign an agreement with the federal government for deputies to be trained in immigration law. These talks come as lawmakers in Washington are holding a hearing today on a bill to give all local police broad powers to crack down on illegal immigration.

Sheriff's officials stress that if Orange County follows through on this idea, it would not mean wholesale immigration enforcement or action against undocumented immigrants not involved in criminal activity.