Council Backs Plan for INS Agent at Anaheim Jail

Posting an Immigration and Naturalization Service agent in Anaheim's City Jail to determine which prisoners are illegal immigrants subject to deportation would benefit this city, according to its City Council.

Council members this week voted to support their neighboring city, which has asked the INS to station an agent at the jail for a six-month trial period to deport illegal immigrants.

A survey by Anaheim police found that 35% of inmates sent to that city's jail may be illegal immigrants.

The INS this week said it will conduct a survey of its own before deciding whether to go proceed with the six-month trial.

"It's important to urge the INS to establish an office as close as Anaheim," Councilman Don Bankhead said. "It would certainly benefit the city of Fullerton."

Police Chief Patrick E. McKinley called the proposal "very politically sensitive."

Critics have charged that Anaheim officials overreacted to their police survey and have questioned the survey's validity.

Some also suggested that the survey was racially motivated.

Mayor Chris Norby said the INS should deport illegal immigrants found in jail.

"This would be a good place to target," he said. "If they have to choose between places of employment and places of internment, these are the guys that are really the bad ones and the ones we want to focus on and hopefully return to where they belong."

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