SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – California Attorney General Kamala Harris said local authorities do not have to hold and turn over suspected illegal immigrants to the federal government when they arrest them for some other crime.

Harris issued a law enforcement bulletin Tuesday saying that the federal Secure Communities program is flawed, so she’s advising local police agencies they don’t have to comply with it.

“It was supposed to initially be focused on those who had been convicted of serious crimes,” said Harris. “In fact, what ICE’s data has shown is that as many as 30 percent of those who have been detained and deported were non-criminals by their own definition.”

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking for local police and county sheriffs to detain for them, anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant, based on a federal check of their fingerprints.

Harris said the fingerprints still have to be sent to the FBI, but if ICE comes back with a detention request, the cops can either honor it or ignore it, at their own discretion.

ICE admits that’s true, under the 10th Amendment, but remains committed to working with local authorities and hopes for their cooperation.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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