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WWNO News Reports
Thu September 10, 2009
New Orleans Police Reaching Out to Undocumented Residents
By Eileen Fleming
New Orleans, La. – Police Superintendent Warren Riley says his department is joining a nationwide movement to return immigration matters to federal authorities.
Riley is supported by retired Sacramento, California, police chief Arturo Venegas, of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative.
Mayor Ray Nagin told the Hispanic community that its workers have been vital to the city's recovery, and it's appreciated.
Riley says officers will help victims and witnesses, without asking their residency status. He says there are now 26 bilingual officers.
Lucas Diaz of the Latino community services group Puentes New Orleans says language remains a barrier.
Officials say there are somewhere between 20-thousand and 60-thousand undocumented citizens in the New Orleans area. Many have complained that they've been cheated by contractors of their pay, and many have been robbed. Riley says helping those victims makes the whole community safer.