George Gascon, the Los Angeles District Attorney backed by billionaire George Soros, has vowed to help criminal illegal aliens avoid deportation by reducing penalties, jail-time, and prosecutions against them.
Gascon was sworn in this week and immediately ended cash bail for suspects charged with crimes as well as the death penalty for prosecutors to use against defendants. Similar to those changes, Gascon has previously stated that he will set up two justice systems for criminal defendants — those who are American citizens and those who are foreign nationals.
In October, Gascon’s campaign released a detailed plan that would use the power of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to help criminal illegal aliens avoid arrest and deportation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
As part of the plan, Gascon has proposed factoring in “severe collateral consequences in charging decisions, plea negotiations, and use of diversion programs” for criminal illegal aliens so as to avoid arrest and deportation by ICE.
“Local criminal justice actors must be careful not to become part of a pipeline to deportation in a dysfunctional immigration system … the DA must also strive to limit unnecessary exposure to immigration enforcement,” Gascon’s plan continues:
Immigration status can have a disproportionate adverse impact on noncitizen defendants because of federal immigration law implications. A core duty of prosecutors is to ensure that the punishment fits the crime. As such, it is incumbent upon the prosecutor to be aware of and mitigate collateral consequences, particularly when they are more severe than the punishment for the crime itself. Indeed, in Padilla v. Kentucky 130 S.Ct. 1473 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that immigration consequences of a conviction for immigrants can be profound and warrant consideration by the prosecution as well as the defense. [Emphasis added]
An immigration-informed approach includes working with defense attorneys to obtain a defendant’s immigration status–without requiring onerous proof or documentation – and implementing training programs to increase awareness of immigration law, with the goal of equipping prosecutors to exercise discretion in achieving immigration-neutral charges and plea bargaining. The basic principle guiding this approach is that the full range of punitive consequences – both direct and collateral–should be roughly equivalent for citizen and noncitizen offenders. [Emphasis added]
Likewise, Gascon has proposed reducing “prosecution of low-level, ‘quality of life’ offenses” such as drug possession, driving without a license, and public urination, so that illegal aliens who are arrested for these crimes do not face what Gascon deems “outsized immigration ramifications, due to the booking and fingerprint sharing between local law enforcement and immigration authorities following an arrest.”
Even further, Gascon plans to “limit exposure to immigration enforcement” for criminal illegal aliens by reducing jail-time so that suspects are booked and almost immediately released.
According to Gascon, “unnecessary time spent in jail” increases “the risk of immigration enforcement, as the booking process allows ICE to identify and pursue immigrant detainees.”
Such changes to how the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office handles criminal illegal aliens would be some of the first of their kind enforced in the United States. District Attorneys in other Democrat-controlled cities have suggested reducing charges for foreign nationals so they could potentially avoid being deported, though such policies are not official protocol.
Already, California is a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, shielding them from arrest and deportation by ICE agents even if they are charged or convicted with crimes, including violent crimes. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office enforces a strict sanctuary city policy that effectively bans officials from handing over criminal illegal aliens to ICE.
Estimates from 2019 have suggested that about 100 criminal illegal aliens are released from jail in Los Angeles County every day. Federal data has found that about 8-in-10 criminal illegal aliens freed by a sanctuary city go on to commit additional crimes.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.