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Illegal immigrants in our jails: Fuel to the fire

September 8, 2008 | 10:20 am

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L.A. law enforcement officials have focused increasing resources on identifying and deporting illegal immigrants in the jail system. Now, there is some fresh evidence on the problem: According to a Rand study, illegal immigrants deported from the jail are highly likely to commit more crimes. The Times' Anna Gorman has details:

Illegal immigrants who have been deported at least once from the United States are far more likely than other immigrants to repeatedly commit crimes, according to a study by the nonprofit Rand Corp. The data indicated that illegal immigrants, overall, were not a greater crime risk, according to the study, which looked at all inmates released from Los Angeles County Jail for a month in 2002. But among those who previously had been deported, reentered the U.S. and were arrested and released from jail, nearly 75% went on to commit another crime within a year. And 28% were arrested three or more times during the one-year period.

Anna did an interesting story (with video) this summer going inside the jail and looking at the process for deporting illegal immigrants. The report is likely to add to the debate over Jamiel's Law, which would permit Los Angeles police officers to arrest gang members for breaking U.S. immigration law.

-- Shelby Grad

Times file photo by Brent Foster

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