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LA votes today on keeping a controversial program that deports immigrants

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MESA, AZ - JUNE 24:  An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, chained for being charged as a criminal, prepares to board a deportation flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on June 24, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, repatriates thousands of undocumented Guatemalans monthly, many of whom are caught in the controversial "Secure Communities" data-sharing program which puts local police on the frontlines of national immigration enforcement. ICE recently announced a set of adjustments to the federal program after many local communities and some states, including New York, insisted on opting out, saying immigrants were being deported for minor offenses such as traffic violations. Guatemala ranks only second to Mexico in the number of illegal immigrants deported from the United States.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images
An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, chained for being charged as a criminal, prepares to board a deportation flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on June 24, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.

Other localities in the state have dropped the program called 287(g). LA would be one of only two counties in the state to keep it going if the supervisors vote to renew it.

Los Angeles County supervisors plan to vote today on whether to renew a controversial program that screens for immigrants who could be deported.

It's called 287(g), and how it works is the Sheriff's Department teams up with federal immigration officials. Then local deputies are charged with checking the immigration status of inmates.

People who are here legally but not citizens can be deported, as well as those who've entered the country illegally.

Some localities have dropped the program. LA would be one of only two counties in the state to keep it going if the supervisors vote to renew it.

Plus, immigration advocates say it encourages deportations which separate families. Meanwhile some law enforcement officials don't like it, either, because they say it damages relationships with immigrant communities as well as opens themselves up to lawsuits.

Southern California Public Radio's immigration reporter Leslie Berestein Rojas explains that one of the incentives for LA to use the program has been a small chunk of change that the county can receive eventually.

Read the full story: Why LA County might stick with 287(g), a little-used immigration enforcement program

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