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Pair of resolutions to tackle discretionary arrests, immigration enforcement

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

According to a post on the City Council Message Board, Council Member Greg Casar has sponsored a pair of resolutions on the June 14 agenda that take aim at discretionary arrest and city policies regarding immigration enforcement. Casar explains that he intends public testimony for both items to be taken together because “(w)hile they are two separate items, many of the same community members are interested in both, and the two items support each other in reducing racial inequity in our criminal justice system.” The post also offers up the reasoning between the two resolutions. In 2017, he writes, more than 1,000 people were arrested for citation-eligible offenses, putting people in jail for offenses that are not punishable by jail time and “data also shows that stark racial disparities exist in who is being discretionarily arrested for these misdemeanors.” Item 74, which addresses immigration enforcement, directs the city to make sure residents know their rights, and establishes reporting requirements between police, elected officials and the public, among other things. “I believe we need to ensure our policing resources are not unreasonably or unnecessarily dedicated to civil federal immigration enforcement. I believe protocols to protect these resources for only reasonable and/or necessary cases are important. We should be as transparent as is legal and possible about our priorities at the police department, especially as it relates to a topic of such heightened public concern,” writes Casar.

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