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In the newest version of JustSouth Quarterly, a publication revealed by Loyola College’s Jesuit Social Resarch Institute, migration specialist Sue Weishar writes that “The ethical crucial to deal with strangers with hospitality is repeated extra instances within the Outdated Testomony than every other besides the commandment to worship one God.”

That repetition would counsel that it is a actually essential commandment and that mistreating the stranger is very despicable.

It’s.  Although you would not comprehend it by the slap on the wrist a former Kenner police officer acquired for focusing on Hispanic drivers.  Jan Gregory, 34, had been charged with 5 counts of malfeasance in workplace for stopping 5 Hispanic males who had been driving with no license after which robbing them of a complete of $3,500.  Gregory pleaded responsible to 5 counts of misdemeanor theft and Decide Donald Rowan Jr. sentenced him to 90 days of inactive probation.

In different phrases: nothing.

Gregory isn’t the primary police officer on this space to have his legal exploitation of the immigrant group all however tolerated by the courts.

In 2008, then-Slidell police officer Jonathan Lutman was arrested for stealing as much as $3,000 from Spanish-speaking drivers, and St. Tammany Parish Decide Peter Garcia gave him a five-year sentence, all of which was suspended.

If former U.S. Lawyer Jim Letten was the white hat that the general public stated he was, an area lawyer stated to me in regards to the Slidell case, then why did not he assist convey a civil rights case towards an officer who was clearly singling out these drivers due to their ethnicity?

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Equally, one can ask why the feds did not cost Gregory with civil rights violations.  It is apparent that he was focusing on his victims for a similar motive that the previous Slidell officer was focusing on his victims: due to who they’re.

Within the 2011 report that the Civil Rights Division of the Division of Justice did on the New Orleans Police Division, investigators realized that members of Hispanic group felt focused by the police and others.  The police would see them and assume that they could not be licensed drivers.  Others would assume they had been carrying money and rob them. They usually would not need to name NOPD.

“We heard stories of particular incidents through which immigrant employees known as to request police help after being victimized by crime,” that 2011 report says, “however as an alternative of offering help, NOPD officers questioned them about their immigration standing. Consequently, we discovered a robust perception amongst some segments of the Latino group that reporting crime to NOPD might topic the reporter to undesirable consideration or harassment.”

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That report is the primary motive that New Orleans police now not ask in regards to the immigration standing of the folks they encounter. Asking immigration standing was rightly seen as an obstacle to the division’s crime-fighting technique. Any coverage that daunts folks from reporting crime must be deserted.

After the report of the Kenner officer’s plea deal and his unsupervised probation, I requested Chloe Sigal with the Congress of Day Laborers how widespread an issue that is, folks right here illegally getting robbed by individuals who really feel emboldened to rob them as a result of they’re right here illegally.

“That is positively a problem,” she stated. “Actually, we’re presently investigating a case involving a boss who dedicated wage theft in Kenner and abused immigrant employees after which instantly concerned Kenner police once they tried to defend their rights and demand their wages.” The Congress of Day Laborers isn’t solely trying into what the employer did, Sigal stated, however how the police officer responded when he was summoned.

In November 2017 at First Grace United Methodist Church, Sigal was the translator for Jose Torres, a local of El Salvador who was being threatened with rapid deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  “I’ve lived right here in New Orleans for 14 years,” Torres stated as he sought sanctuary contained in the church, “working shoulder to shoulder with different folks right here who love this metropolis, serving to to rebuild it after the storm.”

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I do not know when the lads robbed by the Slidell officer arrived right here or when the lads robbed by the Kenner officer arrived right here, however there is a good likelihood that they performed an essential position in serving to folks within the New Orleans space rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.  Which makes it much more offensive that the officers have focused these communities for theft.

Weishar level in regards to the Outdated Testomony’s commandments is included in a bit known as “Immigrants and Crime: Debunking the Delusion.”  She cites a 2017 report from the CATO Institute which finds that the incarceration price for native-born People is 1.53 %, considerably increased than the 0.85 % price for individuals who immigrated right here illegally. When one subtracts those that are solely in jail for immigration violations, the incarceration price drops to 0.5 %.

We do not have as a lot to worry from those that are right here illegally as they must worry from us.

Jarvis DeBerry is deputy opinions editor for NOLA.COM | The Occasions-Picayune. He could be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/jarvisdeberry



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