Residents: Cops shouldn't be immigration agents

Residents opposed to a federal program that allows local and state police to arrest and deport illegal immigrants protested outside a homeland security meeting Wednesday.Picketers

MANHATTAN - Residents opposed to a federal program that allows local and state police to arrest and deport illegal immigrants protested outside a homeland security meeting Wednesday.

Picketers say Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who was in Manhattan to discuss terrorism and immigration, should overhaul the department's policies on illegal immigration, rather than employing a Bush-era program. Immigration reform advocates say allowing local and state law enforcements to arrest and deport immigrants will deter them from reporting crimes.

Supporters say the relationship between illegal immigrants and law enforcement agents is already strained and could worsen without reformed policy.

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