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Controversy Surrounds Impound Reforms Designed To Help Illegal Immigrants

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Angry Angelenos voiced their concerns Tuesday night at a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission over plans to stop seizing vehicles of unlicensed drivers who are stopped at DUI checkpoints.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck designed the reforms to remedy what he says is an unfair burden that impounds place on illegal immigrants, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The practice of impounding the cars of most unlicensed drivers was always aimed at illegal immigrants, according to immigration advocates. A majority of unlicensed drivers are believed to be illegal immigrants who do not qualify for a California driver’s license.

Beck says the hundreds of dollars in fees and fines that must be paid to retrieve an impounded car and the disruption to illegal immigrants’ jobs is an unfair blow to people “who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources,” the Times reports.

The police union, along with victim’s rights advocates, are fiercely opposed to the plan, which they say may allow dangerous drivers to remain on the road.

The new rules would allow unlicensed drivers with a clean record call someone with a license, who would then be allowed to drive the car away.

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