Plan to give Suffern cops deportation powers draws ire

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A plan to allow some Suffern police officers to begin the deportation process for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes is not sitting well with many in the village.

It was standing room only at Suffern Village Hall Thursday night as hundreds of divided residents gathered about the issue, called 287G. It is a program that would give village cops the power to file deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants charged with felonies or DWI.

Opponents of the plan believe if officers are given U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement training, it will be used as a profiling tool. Others think it will open the door to discrimination and abuse by the officers.

Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn and Mayor John Keegan have said since September the goal is not to go after illegal immigrants who are just standing on the street, but rather those who are committing violent crimes.

Many of those opposed to the plan have formed a group called Community Power. They have circulated a petition and have already received more than 1,000 signatures.

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