The mayor of Washington, D.C., has signed an executive order which directs his police officers to not check the immigration status of suspects. The only exception in the mayor's order is that police can check the immigration status of someone if their immigration status has something to do with the crime they are being investigated for. The Mayor of the District of Columbia, Vincent Gray, is concerned that residents are unwilling to cooperate with police investigations if they fear that their immigration status will be questioned. The mayor believes that their fear of cooperating with the police endangers the community and adversely impacts public safety. The fact is that this has been the longstanding policy in the District of Columbia for a long time. The mayor's signing of the order just makes it official. By signing the order the mayor said he wants to make it clear that his city's police officers are not in the business of enforcing federal immigration laws. This does not mean that the District of Columbia is going to opt out of the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program which is expected to be in place nationally by 2013. The Secure Communities program is designed to let local officials cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security and turn over individuals before they are released from prison to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation.
The issue of illegal immigrants still garners emotional responses from various groups. But the fact is that illegal immigration is not the problem that it once was. The number of illegal immigrants entering the United States is at the lowest it has been in 40 years. Turns out that the lack of jobs has deterred illegal immigrants from coming to the United States.
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