Groups Ask Obama To End Immigrant Checks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of human rights groups are asking the Obama administration to end programs that allow local police to check the immigration status of arrestees.

A letter to the president Wednesday says that encourages racial profiling and calls it a dangerous merger of the federal immigration enforcement system with state criminal justice systems.

The letter is signed by the AFL-CIO and a broad range of criminal justice, peace, religious, ethnic and immigrant rights groups around the country, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expanding a program that permits local police officers to run arrestees’ names through a Department of Homeland Security database.

An e-mail to Homeland Security seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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