(2011-02-01 | Listen Now

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (WWNO) – Superintendent Serpas says the police department is reaching out to the Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking communities. Representatives of the Congress of Day Laborers told Serpas at a community meeting that people suspected of traffic and minor offenses are being arrested and held – sometimes for weeks — for Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities.

“How people get into the United States of America, documented or undocumented, is of no interest to local police. Myself, and other police chiefs in America have been fighting this for years because that’s a matter for the Congress.”

Serpas says his department has no policy that calls for coordinating with federal immigration officers.

“I can’t arrest you for tax evasion. I have no interest in arresting people for their documented or undocumented status in the United States of America. It’s just that simple.”

Serpas says he’ll meet with community representatives to investigate custody complaints.

For WWNO, I’m Eileen Fleming.

© Copyright 2011, WWNO

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