Tulsa's Hispanic community reacts to new immigration program

Friday, August 20th 2004, 6:07 am
By: News On 6

Members of Tulsa's Hispanic community want to hear more about a new program designed to give local officials more control over immigration issues.

Law enforcement agencies announced the plan along with First District Congressman John Sullivan. It enables officers, deputies and troopers to detain and even begin deportation proceedings for some people not in the country legally. Right now federal authorities have that ability.

Sebastian Lantos, Hispanic advocate "Some police officer might say, you know what I'm going to deport you even though you have a family and a job and you were driving with a red light for example, a misdemeanor traffic violation. They could use that to deport people. That would be my fear."

Law enforcement officers stress only undocumented immigrants caught committing crimes would be subject to deportation.

The pilot program is also underway in Florida and Alabama.