LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has questioned the civil rights of illegal immigrants in radio remarks that have riled immigrant advocates.

Baca said in an interview on KCRW radio Thursday that illegal immigrants basically are not subject to the kinds of civil rights protections Americans are in his defense of a federal program that checks the immigration status of arrestees.

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He says federal policy should decide whether someone should be deported if they haven’t been convicted of a crime.

Baca’s comments come as some lawmakers and law enforcement officials say the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program called Secure Communities threatens to erode immigrants’ trust in police.

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Baca says his office has not received such complaints.

Local immigrant advocates have criticized the remarks and defended illegal immigrants’ civil rights.

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