LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles prosecutors say suspected gang members who are in the country illegally could face quicker deportation when arrested for minor crimes.
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley say that new policies adopted in conjunction with federal immigration officials are aimed at speeding deportation for illegal immigrants suspected of gang activity, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
The attorneys said illegal immigrants are believed to comprise a significant portion of the gang population in Los Angeles.
Delgadillo said all suspects charged with gang-related offenses, including graffiti vandalism and loitering, are being checked by federal authorities for immigration violations. He said all suspects found to have an illegal status would be turned over to federal immigration authorities.
"Undocumented immigrants are a large source of the members of gangs and have been part of the surge that has occurred in the San Fernando Valley," Delgadillo said. "If we know there are gang members, we should be in the position to discern every law they have broken, including whether they have come here illegally."
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