Edmund Kozak, Lifezette, April 25, 2017
Acting Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced a new policy on Wednesday designed to protect illegal aliens who have committed additional crimes from being deported.
The policy aims to minimize the number of illegal alien criminals who end up facing deportation by encouraging prosecutors to charge them with lower-level offenses — allowing them to fly under the radar of immigration authorities.
As the local newspaper, the Brooklyn Eagle, reports, the Brooklyn DA “has hired two immigration attorneys to train all staff on immigration issues and to advise prosecutors when making plea offers and sentencing recommendations on cases of non-citizen defendants in an effort to avoid disproportionate collateral consequences, such as deportation.”
The policy states that “all staff must be alert to a defendant’s possible non-citizen status. If such possibility exists, the assistant district attorney must flag that fact to defense counsel and note that immigration consequences may be an issue.”
It also encourages assistant DAs to “consider alternative offenses the defendant can plead to as well as reasonable modifications to the sentence recommendation” in order to “reach an immigration-neutral disposition.”
“I am committed to equal and fair justice for all Brooklyn residents — citizens, lawful residents and undocumented immigrants alike,” Gonzalez said in an official statement.