Special Order 40 prevents LAPD officers from turning illegal alien gang members and human smugglers 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 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. Special Order 40 is good news for gang members and terrorists who don't want to be questioned about their immigration status. To view Special Order 40, Click here

Q: With Special Order 40 in place, do innocent undocumented immigrant witnesses or victims report crime?
A: Chief Bratton would like to think so, but they don't. 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, but the feds do not mandate that they have to. 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 they if they have higher law enforcement priorities to which to attend?
A: The LAPD does not have to go house to house in rounding up illegal aliens, they just have to turn illegal alien gang members and criminals 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 doesn't care. Instead of passing the blame buck to the ICE, the Mayor should publicly lobby the ICE to do their job.

Q. Didn't Chief Bratton and 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 -- ask for money! They NEVER have asked the ICE to help Los Angeles in its war against gang crime. In fact, the city council (Mayor Villaraigosa was then a city councleman) voted unanimously to lobby against federal assistance in apprehending and deporting illegal alien gang members and criminals.

Q: Without Special Order 40, wouldn't racist LAPD officers abuse their power and target Hispanic 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 exsists, fix the cops, but don't take away a valuable tool to fight gangs and criminals.

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: City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo already places injunctions on gang members with a variety of restrictions including prohibiting them not to congregate in certain places, who have not been charged with crimes -- there should be no qualms about legally 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: 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.

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.

Q: Has any other law enforcement entity asked the ICE for help in deporting illegal alien gang members?
A. Yes. The City of Anaheim has a part time ICE agent three times per day in their department whose job it is to take illegal alien criminal suspects off the Anaheim police's hands and re-arrest them for deportation -- even if they are not charged with a crime. When the program started five years ago, 37 percent of all arrestees were illegal aliens. After five years, illegal alien arrests have dropped to 17 percent -- probably because of a reduction of recidivism.
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 the Mayor do to fix the problem?
A: The Chief of Police is the only person empowered to repeal, amend, or modify police orders. The mayor can order the LAPD Police Chief to repeal Special Order 40.

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

See also:

Watch KABC-TV Video on Special Order 40 (Windows media)

Watch CNN TV Video on Special Order 40 (Windows media)

Foreigners in Gangs Should be Deported (Op-Ed)

Repeal 17-year old "Special order 40" (Op-Ed)