Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo distributed an "Immigration Law Advisory" to prosecutors and law enforcement officials across the state yesterday. The advisory provides key ways to detect and address pressing immigration issues.
"My office receives questions every week regarding Kentucky law and how it relates to our immigrant community," says Stumbo. "Judges inquire about bail for foreign nationals charged with crimes. Law enforcement officers often have questions about arrest of foreign nationals who may have violated state law. Human rights groups aiding immigrants call with concerns about victimization of immigrants in our communities."
Stumbo adds that the debate and gridlock occurring in Washington over immigration policy places Kentucky's state and local law enforcement officers and the Commonwealth's prosecutors at a crossroads trapped in the middle.
"For that reason, I am issuing a statement of the law to address pressing immigration issues," says Stumbo, "so that our legal system is not left in the dark while the public debate continues."
The four categories composing the Law Enforcement Advisory guidelines include arrests of foreign nationals, federal detainers, bail, and interpreters. Also in the advisory, the Attorney General addresses common crimes perpetrated against Kentucky's immigrant community and ways to deter said crimes.
"Certain crimes and predatory practices target our immigrant population," says Stumbo. "Immigrants who confront cultural and language differences are often unfamiliar with local law and may be reluctant to report a crime for fear of deportation. As a result, many immigrants are particularly vulnerable to predatory practices, criminal discrimination, fraud, and abuse."
Examples cited in the advisory with regard to the exploitation of the local immigrant community include, "notorio," (which means qualified legal expert in Spanish), fraud, and human trafficking.
The Attorney General reiterated his commitment to finding the means to aid Kentucky law enforcement by providing them with the tools they require to work with the Commonwealth's diverse population. "It is my sincere hope that his Law Advisory will also help immigrants in our communities who have been vulnerable to predatory practices and discrimination."