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New Orleans Officers Ordered Not to Make Immigration Status Inquiries

September 10, 2009  | 

In an effort to bolster relations and trust with members of the city's burgeoning Hispanic community, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley announced Wednesday afternoon that his officers will not ask crime victims or witnesses about their documentation status. Riley, alongside Mayor Ray Nagin and representatives of the law-enforcement and Hispanic communities, made the announcement at a news conference calling for immigration reform.

"We will not under any circumstances focus on deportation, " Riley said, noting that his department's goal is to protect and serve everyone.

Their announcement seemed to enshrine the city's unofficial policing stance as it pertains to illegal immigrants, many of whom flocked to rebuild the city in the wake of the 2005 flood and, in turn, became prime targets for armed robbers and unscrupulous contractors.

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