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When the immigration debates gets heated, someone always charges the U.S. government with negligence in not being able to find a sizeable percentage of the illegal immigrant population of this country. Evidently the feds and others just haven't been looking in the right places. Among them, jail.

The L.A. Times reports that Los Angeles County decided to do a check of its inmate population and — surprise, surprise — it turns out over half the people in jail are illegal immigrants, and they're not in jail on immigration charges.

This has prompted a sudden ramp-up in the deportation process, as L.A. jailers have tossed illegals back into the laps of the feds, who are shipping them home. This has become controversial because the so-called immigration community, which is another way of saying the supporters of illegals, argues that if the local cops and jailers become synonymous with deportation, illegals won't report crimes.

Maybe. Maybe not. But it's no reason to not enforce the law and not even try to discover if an arrested person happens to be an illegal. If he or she is, off to the feds' deportation courts. That should be the way it works. Otherwise, you have law enforcement officials purposely ignoring the fact they have incarcerated an illegal immigrant who should be going back home. We can't have cops ignoring the law, can we?

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said it best: It's one thing to come to America for a better life. It's another to come here to commit crimes.

Commit a crime, go to jail. Go to jail, maybe you're on your way back to Mexico.

Now if somebody would just stop them at the border, we'd be getting somewhere.

That's My Word.

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