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Calif. Lawmakers Want Out Of Immigrant Fingerprinting Program

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California congressional members are asking Gov. Jerry Brown to suspend the state’s participation in a Homeland Security program that aims to deport dangerous criminals.

At a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday, several lawmakers said the Secure Communities program has gone off-track and has snared many illegal immigrants who haven’t committed serious crimes. Congressman Xavier Becerra and others say that’s making immigrants afraid to report crimes and weakening the trust that police have built up with their communities.

Becerra and others sent Brown a letter asking him to suspend the program until the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general reviews it.

The agency’s acting inspector general, Charles Edwards, says he’ll start the review in August, more than a month earlier than previously planned.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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