Over the last four years Sheriff Lee Baca has helped to turn over 21,000 inmates to federal immigration authorities. And he's proud of it.

While the LAPD has long had a controversial don't-ask policy when it comes to dealing with potential undocumented immigrants on the street, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department asks, tells and, in some cases, helps deport people who don't have “papers.”


Cowboy Lee Baca on the range.; Credit: Carlos A via Flickr

Cowboy Lee Baca on the range.; Credit: Carlos A via Flickr

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and our county jails, have interviewed 52,591 people in our jail system arrested for crimes from murder to drunk driving.”

The county's top cop was in Washington Wednesday to sing the praises of the Obama administration's record number of deportations.

Strange world: Under Republican President George W. Bush, it seemed that half of Mexico came to L.A. Now a Democrat in office is sending half of them back — and boasting about it.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hyped a record year for “removals” of illegals: 392,000 undocumented immigrants were sent home.

Obama administration officials say the number of illegals making a U-turn is 70 percent higher than in the Bush years.

At the same time immigration to California, both legal and illegal, seems to be down. So why is it such a hot issue among state candidates this year?

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

LA Weekly